snake vs. dachshund.

Look what the doggies dragged in:

That’s a Northern brown snake (storeria dekayi), I think. Robin rescued it from the jaws of one of our intrepid Extreme Killer Dachshunds, who ferreted it out of a small hole in the backyard. It got a little punctured, and appeared dead when my wife deposited it on the sill in the picture, but it was pretty sprightly when I picked it up a short time later. I let it go in the front yard. Maybe it will recover enough to resume its snaky business.

Those snakes are useful critters. They rid the neighborhood of bugs and invertebrates. (They don’t fare so well against ferocious German badger dogs with a tendency to kill anything small and moving.) Like the New Hampshire Fish & Game Department says–there’s never a reason to kill a snake in this state. There’s no poisonous species here save for a tiny population of timber rattlers that is just about extinct.

This fella is at the very upper end of the brown snake size scale. The Wicked Smaht Wildlife Book says they rarely grow beyond twelve inches, and this one was every bit that long.

11 thoughts on “snake vs. dachshund.

  1. Robert says:

    Garter Snake, Marko.

  2. Ian Argent says:

    Your mention of badgers and snakes has triggered flashbacks to the badger song. I didn’t need those last few points of SAN anyway.

  3. Very good of you to rescue the poor thing! I always wanted a pet snake, but I settle for occasionally being happy to see one near the woods.

  4. Guess where the small population of Eastern Timber Rattlers live, still, in NH?

    See you at the Blogshoot!

  5. lagerhead says:

    My badger hound appears to be broken. I got one based on your recommendation, and I keep finding her outside at night having tea and biscuits with the local bunnies.

  6. BobG says:

    This place could use the help of your dogs.

  7. Kristopher says:

    Yup. Garter Snake.

    Very common in the US. Has a defensive scent/oil gland ( you can tell when some kid has been handling one ), and slightly poisonous saliva ( causes some swelling if bit ).

  8. Robert says:

    @Kristopher: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Garter_snake#Venom

    Development of venom is an ongoing evolutionary process in snakes. Many snakes previously thought to be non-venomous, such as garter snakes and hognose snakes, have in fact been determined to have primitive venom delivery systems. The venoms in these two snake species are, however, harmless to mankind.

    • Kristopher says:

      Not harmless to me as a kid … hand swelled up good when I got bit a half dozen times.

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