Tuesday, April 23, 2013
Photo: Esteban Gonzalez, April 21, 2013. Sunday afternoon, Gonzalez's dog found a slender foot-long snake in the dry grass in the usually shady side of Corralitas. His dog barked at the snake & allowed it slither off into the grass. (Click on photo to enlarge.)
Ring-necked snakes are not poisonous, but advertise to predators that they might not taste too good by curling up when threatened, showing off their colorful underside & emitting a powerful stink. It's just a show.
Ring-necked snakes prefer moist environments like Red Car Canyon & the dark side of Corralitas Drive (it has fewer hours of sun due to the topography).
Brush clearance season usually turns up a few snakes, so be careful and let them go on their way. We have not heard of any rattlesnakes in the area in decades. Gopher snakes will pretend to be rattlesnakes by using their tails to shake the nearby dry grass when threatened.