(Ron Writing) We stayed around the campground most of the day enjoying the beautiful weather and relaxing. There was a little excitement in camp today. First Elena noticed a small (18”) snake slithering right past the lawn chair she was sitting in. It passes just a couple feet from her before she noticed it. It was not a rattlesnake and did not appear to be venomous. I used a long rod to “transport” it out to the grassy area away from the campsite.
About an hour later the neighbor’s dog started growling at a much larger snake about 5 yards from our trailer. This dog seems to have a 6th sense for detecting snakes anywhere in the neighborhood. Yesterday he alerted his master to the small snake we saw on the tree. His master says he does this all the time.
A couple young guys who just came to the campground this afternoon came over to look at the snake. They had a special tool with a gripper on the end made for picking up snakes. They quickly picked it up and determined it was a gopher snake and is harmless. So they just moved it some distance from the campground. They were hoping it was a rattlesnake because they are out here in Carrizo specifically to collect rattlesnakes. They showed us three good-sized rattlers they had in a bucket. I asked them what they do with the snakes and they said they eat them. They told us how they go about “butchering” them, cleaning them, and cooking them. They said the meat is very mild tasting – similar to white fish. They went out again late this afternoon searching for more of them.
Our great horned owl chick moved up to a much higher branch in the same tree during the night so I guess it must be able to fly. I saw it extend and flap its wings once today – pretty impressive wings for a chick! The adults have a wingspan of 55”. I saw the mother owl perched up high in the tree again today but never saw her mate. He may have been there – it’s very hard to spot them.
Weather: Overnight low – 56°, high – 86°.