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Gopher snake hidden in the grass

By Gary Bogue
Wednesday, May 23rd, 2012 at 5:58 am in Gopher snake, Rattlesnake.

Gopher snake’s head, hidden in the grass. Photo by Brian Murphy, Walnut Creek, CA
1snake id brian murphy wc

Found the snake in the above photo at Bayberry Pond (Lime Ridge Open Space, Walnut Creek), stretched out enjoying the morning sun.  Always a hesitation to try and figure out what it was, the pointy tail eventually gave it a way. A nice well-fed, 4 foot gopher snake.

We thought about trying to catch it to see if we still had our 8 year old kid skills but decided to just leave it alone. The photo isn’t ‘good’ but it’s what things look like when you see them and it’s important to identify them before you make a bad decision.
Brian Murphy, Walnut Creek, California

Important indeed! You definitely don’t want to grab a rattlesnake! Besides the pointy tail (instead of rattles), you should also note the round pupil in the snake’s eye. Gopher snakes have round pupils … and rattlesnakes have vertical pupils, like cats.

Of course, if you are close enough to get a good look at the snake’s eyes, that’s a whole other story … /Gary

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One Response to “Gopher snake hidden in the grass”

  1. Parrot Nanny Gayle Says:

    As a child, I learned all about our local snakes. But I’ll never forget being up along the Truckee River fishing and almost picking up what I thought was some sort of king snake. I was stopped quickly by a fisherman and he pointed out that it was actually a timber rattler. Black and Grey. Close call! Now I just leave them all alone. They’re all welcomed.

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