California Glossy SnakeThe other evening I noticed a small snake huddling in a corner of the garage. It had a reddish-brown color with black spotted pattern. I moved it with a stick to see there was no rattle on the tail, then picked him up (in California the only snakes poisonous to humans have rattles. Ringnecks and Lyre snakes are mildly poisonous but not dangerous).

He was friendly (didn't try to bite), about 10" long, and looked a bit like a gopher bullsnake. But he was different; retruded mandible, vertical pupils, and a black spot on the side of the head. Turns out he was a nocturnal snake rare to this area (adjacent to Santa Monica mountains), a glossy snake (Arizona Elegans Occidentalis).

I was holding him during a discussion with some people in the kitchen, one of whom was describing her boss as "Jewish but not practicing". They asked me about the snake, and I explained he was a practicing Glossy snake.





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