Friday, September 7, 2007

Snake Suicide

This snake in the creek had its head plunged into the mud underwater. Oddest thing. It did not look dead -- it was still holding its curves, its musculature, and wasn't limp -- but I didn't poke it to make sure. Using the photograph I ID'd it as a Northern Water Snake, Nerodia sipedon, a common Missouri snake, and harmless. Approximately 16 inches long, this one must have been young.

You can see that the water here was about an inch deep, and and because of the heat and drought, the water left in the creek had warmed and thickened. I suppose the snake was trying to keep cool -- it is cold-blooded, after all --but I also wondered if I was wrong and it was dead, and the long, long drought that kept closing in, drying the creek down to nothing -- had driven it to suicide.

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