Reptile/Amphibian #32 — Gopher Snake (Bullsnake)

pituophis catenifer sayi

Friday, May 21, 2021 — 1:20 pm

Pueblo County, Colorado — Chico Basin Ranch (Headquarters Pond)

By this point in the day, the temperature had heated up, the wind had picked up, and the birds had mostly disappeared. I strolled around the pond one more time, mostly to get in my miles for the day.

This Bullsnake was crawling slowly through the grass and brush along the pond. As I got closer to take photos, it froze in place over a root of a large cottonwood. When I backed off, it continued on its way. I watched it move in pretty much a straight line for about 15 yards until it disappeared into a pile of logs. It was in view for about five minutes.

Bullsnakes often grow to six feet or more, but this one was closer to three feet long. They are considered a subspecies of the Gopher Snake. Bullsnakes are constrictors and not venomous. They can be aggressive, but this one seemed sluggish and didn’t coil or strike or even vibrate its tail. Perhaps it had just emerged from hibernation.

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