Pulling the black plastic off the woodpile in the spring is always an adventure in biology–first, a very large wolf spider the other day. I’ve seen bigger, but this one, I’ll admit, startled me after a long (though admittedly tepid) winter’s absence of activity other than mine at the wood stacks.
But when I pulled the plastic cover back another two feet, I really did jump back. What I saw at first glance was a black snake that was two inches thick!
Then I realized it was only a three inch segment about two thirds towards the tail that was this thick. What was going on?
My first thought was “this is the varmint that has been eating our hen eggs over the past couple of years.” But the suspicious lump was too far back to be the snake’s stomach. And from the looks of it, it had been thusly swollen for some while, the area muddy and a bit abraded.
What does a pregnant snake look like? This degree of enlargement certainly limits where this snake can go to hide or hunt. Could it be a tumor?
I’m hoping somebody out there has an answer. I’m guessing I’ll see this critter again before the summer is over.