Saturday, September 1, 2018

Yard Critter of the Week - Northern Black Racer

Northern Black Racer.

My sister and her family, along with my parents, visited us for dinner last week. And as I was tidying up the next morning, putting lawn chairs away, I heard a rustling in the leaves under a tree by Magnus's enclosure.

So I investigated.

It took me awhile, but I eventually spotted a snake. A Northern Black Racer snake.

This one.

As you can see, it is behind leaves and twigs, making it hard to see, to say nothing of photographing. And it was content to move about under the tree vanishing from sight only to appear again in the same spot. I don't know if it was wary of me or just hunting.

As I watched as it started digging about in the leaves. And then it moved off further under the tree.

It had found something.

A large caterpillar which would later be identified as a Pandorus Sphinx Moth caterpillar. I watched the snake maneuver and swallow its prey.

After which it decided it had enough of me, so it seemed, and decided to head for the gardens.

Doing so meant crossing in front of the garage. First behind some lumber. And then out in the open.

After which it disappeared into the foliage of the back garden.


I had actually seen the snake the day before, in that same garden area, startling it while it was sunning itself on the garden walk. And it quickly slithered away. That was the first snake of a three snake morning. I also saw our resident Northern Water Snake out by the back pond. And an small Eastern Garter Snake in our side garden rounded out the trio. A very cool way to start the day.

You can find all of the Yard Critter posts listed here.


Thanks to John Becker & Alex Bernzweig for confirming my snake ID. 
And to John Maxwell for ID'ing the caterpillar.

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