Monday, August 13, 2012

Long-nosed Snake Rove

I’m having a very snaky month so far, which is wonderful for someone like me who believes that a day without snakes is like a day without sunshine. This morning I was surprised and delighted to see a beautiful long-nosed snake basking in the hot sun on the main path into the Park. It quickly slithered away before I could quite get it in focus. These gorgeous snakes, Rhinocheilus lecontei,  are smallish constrictors who like to eat lizards.

Longnosed snake shadow 8-13-2012 8-04-06 AM 1123x507

That was the only snake I saw (can’t get greedy, after last week’s nightsnake), but I also saw the eerily beautiful flowers of Stapelia, a South African succulent we have growing in one of our ramadas,

Stapelia 8-13-2012 9-23-20 AM 1251x648

…and the lovely flowers of Cereus grandicostatus, a cactus of uncertain origin that twines in a palo verde near the center of the Park.

Grandicostatus g.  8-13-2012 9-02-36 AM 3021x2474

Since I started this post with snakes, I’ll end with a quick update on Leo, the beautiful kingsnake in my guest room. So far, I’ve only taken him out a few times, but it is a privilege to take care of him and observe him. He has shed his skin once in my care and currently looks shiny and healthy. I have to give him back to his owner soon, and I’ll try to post more pictures before I do. 

8 comments:

  1. Stapelia looks gorgeous. And so does the snake. Reminds me of my Arizona Mountain King that my little cat loosed to the world.

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    1. Stapelia is commonly called "carrion plant," because it supposedly smells putrid (I haven't noticed that). It is pollinated by flies, and is hairy. A very interesting plant. The long-nosed looks a little like the mountain king, but the bands are more diffuse and the colors less vivid. There's a black-and-white version that looks a lot like the common king.

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  2. Anonymous5:43 AM

    Great post. I did not get to see a long-nosed last year, maybe this year. Some stapelia species are smellier than others so beware. S

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  3. This is only the third or fourth long-nosed I've seen ever. But I seem to be on a roll. Thanks for the comment.

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  4. I was going to ask about Leo . . .

    You've seen more snakes in a month than I've seen in 5 years!

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    1. Yes; I'm a very lucky woman!

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  5. How cool that you've seen some uncommon snakes and were actually able to ID them! Good to know they're out there too! They are beautiful, as are the flowers.
    -Carol


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    1. Thanks, Carol! A fellow docent and I were talking about all the snakes I've seen lately, and we agreed that there are a LOT of snakes in the Park, but mostly nobody sees them because they are secretive and fast. I, of course, am always looking for them.

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