Yesterday was International Rock-Flipping Day. In my recent trips to Roundrock, I’ve been flipping (and replacing) rocks everywhere I’ve been to see what I might find. I even went back to my lucky rock from last year wondering if I might uncover the same resident. (I didn’t.) But I did find the fellow you see above at a very different site.
I flipped this rock near the overflow outlet drain below the dam. #1 Son and I were gathering rocks to throw into the bottomless pit of water that has formed just below the drain pipe and I yanked up the rock above. It gave way with a slurping sound, and below it was coiled the small snake you see.
The snake was annoyed at my rude intrusion and quickly slipped into the tall grass nearby. In the moments I had to try to identify the snake (and you’re seeing the critter’s belly in this photo), I managed to see the characteristic band of yellow behind its head suggesting to me it’s a ringneck snake. (Ringnecks are also known for their yellow or orange bellies.)
I’d found one of these at the other end of my woods where it is much drier, but that was on a visit after it had been raining for days and the water was flowing. It turns out, ringneck snakes prefer moist woodlands, so both sightings have made sense.
For a collection of links to this year’s many Rock-Flipping posts (including, yes, an Elvis sighting), go to Dave’s blog here. And you can see lots of great photos of the things that lurk in the dark under rocks at the Flickr site here.
- Caspian terns migrate in flocks across Missouri, feed in wetlands.
Today in Missouri history:
- Manual Lisa, fur trader, explorer, fortune hunter, government agent, and backwoods aristocrat, who based his empire in Missouri, was born on this date in 1772.
- Cardinal Mark McGwire hits his record-breaking sixty-second home run at Busch Stadium in St. Louis in 1998.