If you look at the pile of rocks in the photo below, you may not see a snake, but one is in there! I cropped the photo so the snake’s head is upper left and its tail is lower right. See if you can find it in the photo below:
Usually when seeing a snake, the next question is, what is it? Actually I think I asked, is it alive? A quick look to its head and tail helps with identification. Fortunately for us, this one was actually in the road when we first came upon it. It seems this is the time of year snakes are crossing roads! I almost drove over one a few days previous to this sighting! Fortunately it fit between my van’s wheels.
This is a Sonoran gopher snake starting to cross a road we were bicycling on. It has a narrow, round head and the tail did not look like that of a rattlesnake. We spent time creeping closer to it to get a better look while also not trying to stress it out. Eventually it moved off the road and returned to where we thought it came from, the rocks at the side of the road.
And so it slithered in the rocks when I realized there was no way I would ever see that snake if it were not in the road! This one is camouflaged in the rocks. If I was walking there I would have stepped on it, or a portion of it … no maybe not, as I would think it would pick up on the vibrations in the ground from my walking in the area. Another good reason to use hiking poles when walking in the area.
Sonoran gopher snakes I discover are correctly named since gophers are their main food source. What I was surprised about, people have these snakes as pets! Ok, I know they are nonvenomous, will not hurt your cat, and have the loudest hiss of all snakes, but a 4 footer as a pet? They can grow to 9 feet and climb walls so keep a good lid on your tank please, thanks! (I will admit I like seeing wildlife in a natural setting not an aquarium, terrarium or tank. But if you do, then provide the best care possible for the animal or plant, thanks.)
If you needed help identifying the live plant or animal you observed and photographed, be reminded you can enter it in the iNaturalist website or app. It is helpful to know what it is you are looking at!