Monday, June 13, 2011

Worm Snake

My husband and I were turning the soil in the plots of our garden. I had tried a method of three sisters I had read on the internet and decided that particular method didn't work well. It incorporated several small hills instead of one large platform. This spring we went about knocking down the hills and spreading out the earth. I am always amazed at the size of the nightcrawlers in our soil and I think it is a testament to our good practices. Just as my husband tossed a shovel of earth out from a pile he said "Whoa, is that a worm?" I looked and saw a large earthworm flailing in the dirt but it had an iridescent blue sheen to it. Upon closer inspection, it had a finely woven pattern of scales as well. My husband picked it up with his gloves on and a little chocolate brown tongue shot out from between two beady dark eyes. "That's the weirdest snake I've seen." I said. I wished I had the camera but, alas, I didn't.
Later, we looked up "worm snake" on google and found that Carphophis amoenus amoenus is indeed called a Worm Snake and it is found mostly in wooded areas in loose dirt and under logs and rotten leaf litter. I learned a cool new word to: "fossorial". Look it up. We read that they mainly eat earthworms and are not poisonous.
Days later, as we were finishing our work, we uncovered another specimen and this time I had my camera. He had the prettiest pink belly but he continued to struggle in the open and try to hide his face under one of his coils. You would too if you lived underground and now were being held captive in the open sun. We snapped a few pictures and then let him go. Sneaky snake, we hope you stay around!


  1. Very Cool;

    I've seen one of these in my life....from under some rotting logs. Consider yourselves very lucky, I don't think they turn up that often.
    Glad you didn't cut him in half with your shovel.

    P.S. The earthworms are indeed a good sign that your soil is improving and healthy. In addition, they will bring down into their burrows the compost from the surface and can till better and far deeper than you can so keep them alive; they're enriching your soil while you sleep!

  2. Yay! I love someone else improving my soil while I sleep! LOL, yeah, I really couldn't believe it when another one popped back up. We really enjoy them so I'm glad they are around.

    In another note, there is a 4 foot long black snake hanging around the house. My husband says that he used to be able to get into the crawl space but he's too big now. I haven't seen Fatter Fat Toad around so I have a sad feeling that's where she went. We don't so much mind the black snake. It's all the circle of life.