Two snakes were entwined in the 'boo. At least I thought that's what I saw. It was hard to tell from inside the car so I grabbed my camera and got out for a closer look.
Yes! Definitely snakes! (I love snakes) Two black racer snakes were entwined in a tangle of love. Reptilian whoopee in a clump of bamboo.
|Snakes watching me watch them|
Although this was the first time I spotted two black racers mating, I've seen racers many times before. Southern black racers (Coluber constrictor) are the snakes I see most often in the garden and around the house. Harmless to people but deadly to rodents, birds, lizards, other snakes, frogs, toads and insects, I consider black racers to be an essential part of nature's arsenal. Pest control at its most basic level.
|Black racers in an amorous embrace|
This slender reptile can grown up to 6 feet long with a solid black upper side, a dark gray to black belly, white chin, white throat and brown eyes.
|Entwined in the 'boo|
Male racers become sexually mature on or slightly before their second year but females take a year or two longer to reach sexual maturity. After mating, a female may lay up to 30 eggs that hatch about 3 months later. When they do, the 6-inch-long babies are fully prepared to hunt and live on their own. That's good because after a week or so of guarding their newly laid eggs, the parents leave their future offspring to fend for themselves.
|This is the view that caught my eye as I was driving down the road|
Encountering two snakes mating was a completely new wildlife experience for me. While some people may shudder at the very thought of encountering two snakes mating (or, sadly, at seeing snakes at all), I reveled in the moment. The snakes obviously loved what they were doing. I did too!