Going out my front door late this morning I saw a green snake (Liochlorophis vernalis) warming himself – it had been a cold night – on a stump on my lawn. I have heard that these snakes are fairly common, but in all my days in the Catskills I have seen one only twice, and I’ve known people who have lived here their whole lives and have never seen or even heard of one. Needless to say they are visible only when on a non-green surface, which they typically avoid. I saw one once draped across a pile of wood on my property once as well.
They’re unusually beautiful animals, and very calm – this one did not move at all while I went to get my camera and then came close for a good shot. The color of their skin is absolutely spectacular.
As so often happens, just the day before I had my chainsaw out and was going to cut the stump down (why the hell do I have this thing on my lawn? I thought), but there were some rock fragments on top of the stump which needed to be cleaned off or I would dull the chain. So I stayed my hand. Now I see that the stump plays some role in the universe, and is important to somebody. Needless to say, I’ll probably be tripping over that thing decades from now because of this, but I think it’s worth it.