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Friday, June 3, 2016

Snake Rescue!

We were tidying up on my farm yesterday and I was throwing some bird netting that was bunched up in the corner and tossed it in the back of my truck on top of some other junk.  My helper who was doing most the heavy lifting while I recover from my health issues plaguing me lately, screamed there was a snake in the back of the truck and she started running.

I looked and could see two snakes stuck in the bird netting.   One looked like it was dead, but the other moved when I touched its tail.     I pulled the netting out of the truck and check to make sure it wasn't a rattle snake.    No rattles on its tail and it looked like a gopher snake.   It's head was tangled in the netting so it wouldn't have ever escaped.   I found a scissors and went to work cutting it loose.  It was tangled in numerous spots and didn't move very much during the process.

Once I cut it loose, I grabbed it by the base of the head and deposited it in the vegetable growing area where I have been plagued by some bothersome pocket gophers.    It curled up and tried biting me as I was looking to see if there were any wounds on it.   A snake will always be a snake.   It then crawled off and hid in the row of kale.   Diamond, my helper isn't sure whether she wants to ever harvest kale again.   I assured her that it will move on.  

Here's a image of the snake trapped in the netting.   I was sad that the other one wasn't alive and will not ever use this netting again considering the danger to snakes.  The other two images are of the snake after it was released.   It looked like it was 3 feet long or so.    As scary as they look, they are an asset to any farm considering that rodents and a major pest.   I have lost a third of my tomato plants to pocket gophers.

Here are some stock images of gopher snakes from the internet so I believe I am correctly identifying this snake.

Pacific gopher snake
The Pacific gopher snake is a subspecies of large nonvenomous colubrid snake native to the western coast of the United States. Wikipedia
Scientific namePituophis catenifer catenifer