Last Friday I decided to go on a hike around Punta Gorda. Anyone who knows me well realizes that I had ulterior motives. Anyway, I headed out to flip rocks and hopefully find some interesting reptiles.
After an hour or so, I had found tons of scorpions, a centipede and a Western Banded Gecko, which wasn’t too bad, considering it is December. It was quite windy and I was expecting everything reptilian to be under rocks but then I came upon a small bendy stick in the middle of the path.
As I came closer, I realized it was a tiny snake! To my further surprise, it was one of my biggest targets: a Western Patch-nosed Snake. This tiny baby was soaking up the sun and didn’t move at first; it was quite well camouflaged. Gently, I picked it up and started “oh my gosh-ing” with joy.
I spent a few minutes with it, taking pictures and enjoying my first experience with a patch-nosed snake. These funny little snakes are mostly whiptail eaters, although they will also eat other lizards, small mammals, birds and amphibians. They are harmless to humans, although they do have a mild venom. These snakes are diurnal, meaning they come out in the day. They also actively forage for prey. Western Patch-nosed Snakes lay eggs in early summer, and the babies hatch in late summer or early fall.
I am so glad I was able to meet this little guy, and I am quite glad I got there before one of the many bikers did, as I am fairly certain they would not have seen this little fella. Mountain biking is an awesome sport, but I urge everyone using the trails to please watch out for the animals.