Wednesday, December 19, 2007

A New Visitor

As we were leaving to go grocery shopping today Indra noticed a peculiar shaped critter climbing through the decorative blocks onto our patio. Upon further inspection it revealed itself to be a Yucatan Vine Snake. We'd seen a much smaller one before but this character was about 5 feet long.

Thelma the coon hound, as always, thought it was a "treat" and is staring at it longingly. Anyway, we turned it loose in the vacant but verdant lot next door. Later I found this on the internet about this beautiful creature:

"The species goes by a variety of names, including Neotropical Vine Snake, Whipsnake, Bejuquilla Parda and, in local Maya, Xtachoy. Xtachoy refers to the drawstring on a well bucket. It's OXYBELIS AENEUS.
One reason people know this species is that the snake really looks like a vine stem, and Mexicans are always grabbing such stems intending to hack them with their machetes. Grab this, and you'll remember it for a long time. The snake is not particularly aggressive but if grabbed it will bite, and this species is "semi- venomous." My Maya-speaking friend Don ElĂ­as, who has a long history of machete-swinging, says that if an Xtachoy bites you you won't die or lose an arm, but you'll get a serious sore that'll take a very long time to heal.
The snake eats small lizards, especially anoles, and part of its lizard-fooling camouflage is to remain rigid for hours, often extending like a vine from one tree to another."

I probably wouldn't have been so cavalier about handling it had I read this beforehand.



Monika said...

Oh geez, Larry! You don't pick up snakes if you don't know whether they're venomous or not! LOL. He's a cute little guy and sure does look like a vine.

Lisa said...

Did it offer Indra an apple?

Hkychk said...

the tree looks great! Happy Holidays to you both!

Sheri said...

The tree looks awesome! What a great idea to use some natural offering for ornaments.
Happy Holidays to you both!

MikeB said...

You must have the natural talents of a snake charmer. Great to see a picture of you looking so well, and unbitten. Feliz Navidad to both of you, and Feliz Ano Nuevo!