Last week I was walking around Fossil Creek Open Space, which is a beautiful National Audubon Society designated bird sanctuary. It as an important bird area for nesting, feeding, and roosting for both resident and migratory birds. Approx 180 species of birds have been seen in the trees, shrubs, open water, wetlands mud flats, and grasslands of this area. As I quickly found out as I hiked around, there is much more wildlife besides birds to observe.......
So I am walking the trail, minding my own business when BAM !! Right in front of me I see a big bull snake blocking the path. I notice that the bull snake is wiggling quite a bit and then I see two tails, son of a gun there are TWO snakes. They are all twisted together and it looks like one snake is eating the other. So my first thought was this is two males fighting over breeding rights and trying to look good in front of the ladies. OR ...... can this be right ? they are gettin' their freak on ? Sooooooo happy I am not a female snake because that is indeed what was being witnessed. I researched it when I got home and found that there are pretty much two ways that snakes breed. One is the smooth method where the male will gently massage the back of the female with his belly until she is receptive and gives it up. The second is the aggressive method where the male will bite the back of the female's head and pin her to force her to lift her tail and give it up. Scenario #2 was definately going down here. I am not a huge fan of snakes but this was quite fascinating to watch.
Here again you can see he is biting her neck.
And again here, at this point, is it wrong that I thougt it would be AWESOME for a huge hawk to swoop down and grab them both ??
They were at it a VERY long time and my research told me breeding can take anywhere from a few hours to a few days ....... DAYS !!
Even though I am a still photographer I thought this event warranted video. I will apologize in advance for the shaky camera. My disclaimer is that my lens was very large and heavy and I had it on a monopod, which was a bit difficult to keep balanced and not sway, PLUS I was standing about 10 ft. away from two snakes after all .... just sayin'
So there you have it ladies and gentlemen .... baby snakes being made. You're welcome !
I hope you enjoyed today's topic and did not get the heebie jeebie's. In closing, here is an adorable pic of a cute, fluffy eastern Screech Owl .... because owls are just too cool ...
Every great story seeems to begin with a snake. ~~ Nicolas Cage