A Neighborly Visit

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In the country, neighbors sometimes just drop by unannounced and make themselves comfortable on the front porch. To put this gentleman (or lady) in perspective for you, the antique French bread rack is five feet wide, precisely sixty inches, making this by far the largest gopher snake I have ever seen, larger by about a foot than the one that, ah, shall we say, surprised me one day in the barn as I was unloading hay bales. I chanced to look up and a very large gopher snake was resting comfortably on a very narrow beam directly over my head, watching me work. Among other things, I told that particular snake I thought it ill-mannered of him to laze about watching me do the heavy lifting and not even volunteering to help.

This is a Pacific gopher snake, and according to my copy of The Audubon Society Field Guide to North American Reptiles and Amphibians, they can grow as large as 100-inches in length, over eight feet. Five feet is plenty big enough for me. I mean, there’s no point in showing off.

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