Tuesday, April 11, 2006

April 11, 2006
It has quite suddenly become warm (some might say hot), and lizards have been appearing on the patio. I wondered if snakes had awakened yet (to keep my eye out for rattlers). The question was answered just now, around 1:30 PM when I glanced out on the back porch and saw a very long, skinny snake climbing up the wrought iron pillars. By the time I returned with my camera, the snake was already on the long rafter above the outer edge of the porch.

I watched (and photographed) as it appeared to be searching for a cavity in the roof. It moved so sinuously and beautifully. At one point it literally flowed through a hook (that holds a nectar feeder).

It had just about reached the end of the porch, and I went on in to watch from inside. I was very surprised to see a woodpecker and a male pyrrhuloxia seemingly watching it--moving on the railing underneath it as it moved. The woodpecker's head was pointed up, the pyrrhuloxia kept one eye turned up. I guess they want to know where this guy hangs out.

I looked away for a couple of seconds, and when I looked back, the snake and the birds were gone! I have no idea where the snake went. Maybe it did find a hole in the roof and will be living there.

I don't know what it is, just that it is definitely not a rattler. I went online and found pictures; it most resembles a gopher snake, but they seem to be fattish, and this guy is way skinny. I'd guess it's about two feet long.

Other news: we've had phaenopeplas drinking at the pond, and a couple of days ago a beautiful mockingbird. Fewer hummers, I think because the desert is finally blooming, though not lushly. Our yard looks gorgeous, though. That little bit of rain made a big difference.

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