A snake in the grass – reptile alert.


I was tapping away on the keyboard, looked out of my study window and thought “gosh, thats an odd stick”. Then it moved. It lifted its head and stared up at me. I had the superzoom handy – the same one that got me my goshawk yesterday. So I hot-footed it downstairs and had time to take a few frames. I then thought I would get a “proper” lens out but the snake had had enough at that point and slithered under the hedge, never to be seen again.

Common Rat Snake

If this looks big, it is. I think it is a Common Rat Snake. They grow to 2m long. That is over 6′ in real money. Look carefully and you will see that there is a rather suspicious bulge in the body. That I think is a recently swallowed bird. Well it was almost lunchtime. Either that or the snake is smuggling contraband.

The good news is that Mrs. Ha was out. She was spared the thought that we might have an unwelcome lodger. After all these chaps take rats too and I am afraid we do get rats from time to time. We don’t invite them. They just come in looking for refuge. The perils of living in rural HK. I wonder if they would take small children too? 😉

24 thoughts on “A snake in the grass – reptile alert.

  1. I wonder how many folks are surprised by the concept of “rural Hong Kong”…

    So glad I stumbled into your fascinating blog today Andrew; and you have a wonderful sense of humor!

    • Thank you, W.S., if that is the correct way to address you. Mr. Marble sounds too close to Miss Marple for me. Rural HK is alive and well despite the government’s best efforts to build all over it. Perhaps I should blog a little about the real world I live in, not the fantasy Island that people see on TV. I popped by and followed your blog too. It looks a jolly good read.

      • I am definitely following your picturesque blog now, Andrew–it’s “must-read/must-view” fare!

      • This originally went to my spam folder. No idea why. Apologies. Anyway glad to have you along.

  2. I imagine very few people are willing to go eye to eye so to speak with a serpent, even at a safe distance. *Shudder* I dislike rats even more than snakes so I’m pleased it was given another day. Hawks, snakes- imagine how Lulu would feel!

  3. I was pulling out dead bulbs and a very long snake slithered across my hand. I knew he wasn’t dangerous, but shouldn’t he wear a bell or something? I hate being surprised. Then that night I was walking into the kitchen and saw a long thin stick on the floor and wondered who brought that in on shoes as it was 14″ long. I started to pick it up…and it was a worm!!! Even my husband and brother–fishermen–had never seen one that long. We’re still worried how it got that far into the house. Ah, the joys of spring!

  4. Really cool snake. Love seeing these guys.
    We had a good size lizard get in the house earlier this week. The cat just looked at it like… Hey, not my problem.

  5. Very nice looking snake. Glad he had already had his (her) lunch!
    This time of year the Garter snakes come out of hibernation and get together for raves. Often hundreds of them writhing around in a ball. Luckily they are completely harmless. Glad we don’t get venous types here.

  6. I love the descriptive “slither”. Just something really cool about the sound of that word although it is usually used to describe something most people don’t enjoy…well, maybe they do if it is a slither of exit rather than enter.
    Quite a good capture with the look into the camera. Maybe a wayward reptilian model who knows its spot.

  7. He is rather beautiful but I think I’d rather not know he was that close to the house.
    Out for a cycle ride we once rode over a basking adder, up on the common. My son threw his bike down and ran (he was about eight at the time) and I watched as it slithered through the spokes on his back wheel and then thankfully into the undergrowth, apparently no worse for wear.

  8. definitely looks like it is in the process of digesting something. don’t be walking about barefoot outside with that thing sliding around 🙂

  9. We should let Jackie know ! 🙂 I imagine the hedge wasn’t too low to the ground: that recently ingested dinner looks like a very real impediment. Of course you’re right about its identity: I looked it up and there are those tell-tale dashed stripes. Very handsome animal.

  10. Nice capture Andrew – the benefits of following Rule # 1 of photography ie. always have your camera handy. And as ever your writing elevated the moment to a whole other level of entertainment 🙂

  11. What a magnificent beast, I love how he has his beady eyes on you! I wonder what the mystery bulge is? It looks a bit small for a rat. I’ve not seen any snakes here yet but I’ve heard that there are lots. We had a 4 inch lizard outside in the yard last week but that pales in to insignificance compared to your 6 footer! 😀

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