I went out this morning to check the traps, and found the mousetrap full ... of something large and not at all mouse-like.
It was a young bullsnake. Now slender and maybe a bit over two feet long, it will eventually grow into a larger relative of the gopher snakes that I used to see back in California. (I had a gopher snake as a pet when I was in high school -- they're harmless, non-poisonous and quite docile.)
The snake watched me alertly as I peered in, but it didn't seem especially perturbed to be trapped. In fact, it was so non-perturbed that when I opened the trap, the snake stayed right where it was. It had found a nice comfortable resting place, and it wasn't very interested in moving on a cold morning.
I had to poke it gently through the bars, hold the trap vertically and shake for a while before the snake grudgingly let go and slithered out onto the ground.
I wondered if it had found its way into the trap by chasing a mouse,
but I didn't see any swellings that looked like it had eaten recently.
I'm fairly sure it wasn't interested in the peanut butter bait.
I released the snake in a spot near the shed where the mousetrap is set up. There are certainly plenty of mice there for it to eat, and gophers when it gets a little larger, and there are lots of nice black basalt boulders to use for warming up in the morning, and gopher holes to hide in. I hope it sticks around -- gopher/bullsnakes are good neighbors.
[ 19:37 Oct 21, 2014 More nature | permalink to this entry | ]