rik-rat corn pile

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

a snake tail.

UPDATE! : I've been told that this is not a young bull snake but is an adult brown snake. I've got some smart friends. nov.2

The dog and I have been taking a lot of walks. Every time there's a walk there's an adventure. Saturday, Mudd's ears perked up and he began to paw at dry grass. Of course, this perked my human interest and I bent over to separate the grass blades and maybe figure out what the dog was looking at.
This is what I found. But it's kind of an odd story. The snake was small, about seven inches long, maybe 9. I reached down to pull the snake off the grass and had a hell of a time trying to get it to release it's grip. A small snake couldn't hold on that strong, right?

I was partially correct. I finally got the snake off the grass and it was super heavy. I looked at the bottom of the snake and a small grey mammal was voraciously gnawing, biting, shaking, and HANGING from the snakes tail. It was a shrew and it was trying to eat the snake! Wow. Eventually the shrew released it's death grip and disappeared into the tall grass. I stood there, befuddled.

I shook off the shock, photographed the snake and returned it to the wild.


  1. better to witness struggles in nature than to participate. ick

  2. oooo... I love snakes. I don't think I have ever seen a bull snake before. I didn't know they played dead. How interesting.

  3. @tom: next time I'll participate by eating the shrew.

    @ tracy: the craziest part is that the bull snake is a constrictor snake. they squeeze their prey to death but imitate rattlesnakes when they're intimidated. Wacky stuff.

  4. also, did you guys check out the gnarly battle wound the shrew left on this poor guys tail. by the time I let him go it had scabbed nicely and he slithered into the grass without a limp....can snakes limp, though?

  5. what i want to know is, how does a snake let a shrew get the better of it...pretty embarrasing

  6. i'd agree with you. I mean, at least bite the shrew instead of letting it eat you alive. perhaps I'm underestimating the shrew. it was a nasty lil' thing.