Tuesday, March 1, 2011


Years ago my sister and I were walking around the local college campus when we saw a big snake.  Not one of your little garter wigglers, it was big and black.  My sister announced it was a bull snake and asked me if I dared her to pick it up.  Well, sure.  She boldly grabbed it by the end, held the snake high and it peed on her.  Then she was mad at me. No justice. Now I'm not sure it was a bull snake.  According to Peterson's Field Guide, bull snakes are yellowish with brown and/or black patches.  The cool thing is that they are called bull snakes because of the sound they make.  There is a flap of cartilage in their throat that vibrates when they hiss and the sound comes out as kind of a snort, hence bull.  Did you know it's illegal to kill them in Iowa? 'Tis.  But is it OK to scare them so much they pee on you?  I don't think that is addressed by the code.
For more information on Iowa's indigenous snakes:
A field guide to reptiles and amphibians : eastern and central North America
Graphic Source: Dover

1 comment:

Sue Thien said...

And which sister was this? I don't remember this story, but I have slept since then.

Sister Sue