Skin (in and out)


On a recent afternoon, while Libby and I were sitting in the comfy chairs at our new camp, I looked through the trees and saw a wisp of something flapping on the trunk of an old snag.

The wisp was on the far side of the tree, so I only saw it when the breeze blew. And it was perhaps fifty feet away, so when I did see it, I didn’t get a good look at it. I thought perhaps it was some remnant of the bark the tree once had or maybe a vine that had come loose somehow.

When it came time to push ourselves out of the comfy chairs and continue our walk, I steered my feet over to the snag to see what there was to see.

The wispy thing turned out to be the snake skin you see above. The discarded skin was easily three feet long, and it hung from the tree above our heads. How it managed to stay there, I don’t know, but it was still supple, so maybe it was only recently crept out of.

My guess is that the snake (I have no idea what kind it might have been) had slithered up the tree in its attempt to get out of its old skin. Mission accomplished it then left the tree and left the old skin on the tree.

We left the old skin there though I wish I could have kept it. But we had a long walk back to the shelter tarp, and I didn’t think such a delicate thing would survive the arduous trek through the forest. So there it remains.

Missouri calendar:

  • Smoketrees bloom on southwestern Missouri glades.

10 Responses to “Skin (in and out)”

  1. Ed Abbey Says:

    I think the skin was from the elusive engineering snake. Engineering snakes know how to tie their tales to tree branches and let gravity do the work for them. Great find!

  2. robin andrea Says:

    I’m glad someone knew what kind of snake this is from, because I had no idea. I agree, a great find.

  3. FC Says:

    Here, a big skin up in a tree translates into one of the ratsnakes clan.

  4. Rurality Says:

    They disintegrate pretty quickly around here.

    You smelled it, right? :)

  5. Rurality Says:

    Oh I almost forgot to say THANKS!

    I went fossil hunting with some young cousins this morning, but we did not find much, due I think to the recent lack of rain. IF it ever rains again I will hunt some for you.

  6. wren Says:

    Like gossamer – I wonder if that’s where tales of fairy’s wings originated?

  7. karl Says:

    black snake

  8. Leslie Says:

    Black ratsnake gets my vote, too. We have lots of them around here and boy can they climb! They are good guys. We are happy to see them (even that time in the bathroom….)

  9. Cathy Says:

    Now that is cool!

  10. jenn Says:

    Nice bit of poison ivy right there next to it.

    Healthy forest.

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