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Snakes Schmakes!

Just cruising along on a busy-ish trail in Temescal Gateway Park in the Pacific Palisades. Was with a lovely couple of families and their kids, noticing the great oaks, sycamores and arroyo willows when - WHOA! We stopped and there was a sizeable California Coastal or California Mountain Kingsnake! I've hiked the greater Los Angeles area for 25 years now and have seen just a few snakes: a couple rattlers, a gopher snake or two but never the Coastal Kingsnake. Lampropeltis multifasciata / zonata for your lovers of Latin and biology. With red, black and WHITE bands. Also known as a Milk Snake. This snake is NON VENOMOUS and is sometimes confused with a poisonous Coral Snake which has red, black and YELLOW bands. That snake however is not found in California. There's a mnemonic device for remembering the difference between the NON venomous King Snake and a venomous Coral Snake. "Red touch black, safe for Jack. Red touches yellow, kills a fellow." There are some other details on that here: Still, it was really really really amazing to see such a colorful reptile right there on the trail today! Get outside and see some wildlife of your own=)!

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