Friday, March 2, 2012

Diamondback Water Snake

Juvenile Diamondback Water Snake
I dragged a plastic bag full of old grass clippings and leaves to our new tumbling composter.  This bag was shredded from too many weeks in the sun.  When I peeked into the bag to remind myself of what was inside,   I was surprised to see some round, dark eyes peering back at me.   A young snake, only a few inches long,  flicked a tiny tongue in my direction.  What was my first response?  Right!  “Run to find the camera!”   Obviously the little guy stayed long enough for me to snap his portrait.  But by the time I put down the camera and returned to release him (or her), he was gone.

My copy of  A Field Guide to Texas Snakes by Alan Tennant says that this little fellow was  Nerodia rhombifer rhombifer , a Diamondback Water Snake.  These are non-venomous and are dangerous only to amphibians and small fish.   If molested, they will bite, just as any of us would.   I did not expect to see a Water Snake in my subdivision backward, but we have had lots of welcomed rain recently.