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: http://www.aaanimalcontrol.com/blog/red-touch-yellow.html 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=)!

#outdoors #snake #hiking #trail #safety

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 Ranger Ted is committed to sharing the great outdoors with people of all ages and abilities one hiking adventure at at time.  As a California Naturalist and expert hiking guide he believes that ground level interaction with the natural world greatly enhances the physical and mental health of all people.  He believes that greater bio-diversity is the key to a healthy planet which includes all species of animals and plants of which we humans are an integral part.  Ranger Ted knows that children who explore the natural world in unique, independent and imaginative ways learn a multitude of skills including confidence, leadership, curiousness, patience, stewardship and problem solving to name just a few.