Sunday, June 5, 2011

21 Miles and a Great Plains Rat Snake

We hit the trails again this weekend and did 21 miles. Season total is now up to a 38 miles. Very unimpressive, but it's still very early. Good weather and a nice ride overall.

Just north of the trail head in downtown Wheaton, we came upon a 2.5 long great plains rat snake! I've never seen any snake as big as this one on the paths before. He was huge! He was just lying on the path stretched out and sunning himself. I tried to scare him off the path so he wouldn't get run over or bite an unsuspecting jogger, but he wouldn't budge. He reared up his head like he was getting ready to strike and began wriggling his tail real fast like he was a rattlesnake. From what I've read, when these snakes shake their tails in dry leaves they can create a sound that is very much like a rattlesnake.

Seeing he wouldn't move, we went on. Then Jim reminded me I had my phone (and therefore my camera)! So we scooted back to take a pic but, by then, the snake had had enough of all the humans around and was slithering off into the undergrowth on the side of the trail. Two trips in a row with animal sightings. Looking to be a good cycling season, even if it did get started horribly late.

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