Red Milk Snake Rarely Seen

red milk snakeYesterday was only the second time in over 30 years of living here that I’ve seen a red milk snake in the wild. (I did keep a couple for a few months in 1986 to make a movie about Missouri snakes for the Conservation Department.) This time it was on a path near a rocky stream. They usually like rocky hillsides. It just paused there as Henry and I took photos.

Although their colors are similar to the venomous coral snake (which doesn’t occur in Missouri), the red milk snake is totally non-venomous. In fact, if you were going to give snakes human attributes, I’d say this is pretty mellow snake. We took the photos and walked on. By the time we returned on the path, it was gone.

The red milk snake is a kind of constrictor, and eats small snakes, lizards and rodents. They never get very big…up to 28 inches long at the most. They’re really beautiful snakes.

For those who don’t appreciate snakes, this was not on a path you’d walk at the PGT, but was on land next to it. And it really was a rare sighting. Just happy it was there for me to see!


About Lorna Domke

Since 1981, I've lived on the land that surrounds, and will eventually be integrated into, the Prairie Garden Trust with my husband, Henry. Our long-term goal is to build on what Henry's parents began and create a nature garden of sorts for others to enjoy. Over the years I've planted prairie, mowed trails, created a website and done whatever I could to enhance what's here. For a few years I served on the board of the Missouri Prairie Foundation. Since I retired from my role as Outreach & Education Division Chief at the Missouri Dept. of Conservation in 2010, I've started to put more time into the PGT. The PGT Nature Garden blog is one result.
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