We are spending some time with our daughter & her husband in Tucson. Last night watching TV, my daughter & I saw a small snake wiggling across her tile floor. I am up and checking it out before it can get under anything. It did not look like a rattlesnake, which made me happy. After I got my wife & daughter to stop hollering and jumping in place on the couches, I asked my wife to go fine the Bar-B-Que thongs. I did not want to loose sight of our visitor to go look for them.
After repeating the request a time or three & reassuring her it was not a rattler and it was not going after her, she got them for me. By then the little guy was under a tall movie CD cabinet. However luck would have him wiggling out. With some experimenting, I was able to grab the little creature with the thongs. He came out of them a few times, but each time I was able to get a new purchase on to his wiggly little body or tail. Finally I was able to get a good hold onto him.
Now the question was what to do with him. My daughter said get the bucket, my wife found it, a plastic one. I dropped him in and thankfully he curled up into a tight coil.
Not wanting to leave him alone & unwatched in the open bucket, I remember a good size plastic Starbucks "glass" or cup, which I had gotten at Target that afternoon (I had asked for a glass of water to go with a pretzel). I was able to slap the cup over the curled up snake in the bucket, turn the bucket up side down thus trapping him in the cup. After he/she calmed down, my wife pops the lid on the cup. A cup of snake, so to speak.
We wanted to keep him safe until my son-in-law got home to show him. I also wanted to be able to search on the web for AZ snakes. After looking and looking on one site, I believe I figured out what kind of snake we had come visiting.
From all the photos of non-venomous snakes, our little visitor looked most like the picture of a Sonoran Night Snake. http://www.bing.com/images/search?q=Sonora...%2fns-cover.JPG
The color of our guy was not exactly like the one in the photo but the Distinguishing Features of the Sonoran Night Snakes matched our visitor very well. Ours was between 10 to 12 inches, I am guessing.
This small 12 to 26 inch (30 to 66 cm) snake has a triangular-shaped head, a dark eyestripe, and elliptical pupils; it is often mistaken for a young rattlesnake. The night snake is easily distinguished from the latter by a tail that tapers to a point and the absence of a rattle. The night snake has a pair of large, dark brown or black blotches on the neck immediately behind the head. It is pale gray, light
brown, or beige with dark gray, brown, or black blotches on the back and sides; the underside is white.
The range of this snake extends from British Columbia through the western United States and south to Guerrero, Mexico.
A habitat generalist, the night snake is found in rocky areas of grassland, chaparral, desertscrub, woodland, moist mountain meadows, and thornscrub from sea level to 8700 feet (2650 m).
Seldom encountered during the day, this nocturnal snake is often seen crossing roads at night. The night snake preys upon lizards, small snakes, frogs, salamanders, and small mice, which it subdues with its mild venom; this venom poses no threat to humans. Young night snakes feed upon insects. If disturbed, the night snake raises its head and weaves, hisses, and flattens its neck in threat. Two to 9 eggs are laid spring through summer.
After ID'ing the snake & RB got to see him, I took him down the street and down past Rincon Country RV Resort East close by and dropped him off by Pantano Wash.
My story did have a tie in with Camping.
My daughter did not want it too near her home. We did not want to harm the snake. Trying to figure how he got into the house, we remembered after taking a walk just before dark the front door was left ajar, not fully closed while my daughter & wife watered some plants. We figured the water might have bothered the snake and it came in by an opening in the doorway.
He was a pretty little creature for a snake (I am NOT a snake fancier. nor do I go around handling them ). Very shinny, smooth, slick scaled, pretty color scheme, nice markings with a distinct black neck mark just as the description of the Sonoran Night Snakes said. I do believe it was a Sonoran Night Snake.
Please excuse the digression