Photo...A harmless Black Racer snake. Mouth agape probably trying to cool down from the intense summer heat.Do snakes scream ? Can they make any noise other than the traditional hiss or the well known sound of a rattlesnake's warning rattle ? This was a thought I had never contemplated before as there was never a reason to contemplate it.
Yesterday I went outside to water my wilting orchid plant and just as I began to open the patio screen door I heard a high pitched squeal, shriek or scream from what I assumed was a small animal, most likely an angry bird. Though I looked around I saw no bird hopping about angrily protesting my invasion of its space. Then a movement caught my eye and I focused in on our resident black snake as it slithered between some bushes. It made its way alongside our house to the small concrete patio slab that lay just outside our bedroom door and here the snake stopped. He or she was a good 20 feet away and felt this to be a comfortable distance. I must say I was impressed by the spurt of grown the little fellow had made since I had seen him last year, he was now a good 3 feet in length and at least 2 inches in diameter at his thickest part, which was its middle (alas that seems to be the case with most of us).
Photo above...Hiding in the bushes, sort of ! Most of the Black Racer (about 2.5 feet of it) is hidden beneath the bushes.
Feeling confident that he was at a safe distance the snake clung close to the house and double up on itself as though preparing to settle down for a nap, meanwhile I went about watering my dry and thirsty orchid. A bit later I noticed he was no longer laying on our bedroom patio and must have quietly slithered off.
His disappearance did not concern me, however I couldn't get the strange squealing screams out of my mind. Had it been a bird that, having seen the snake, sent out a warning call to any and all things close by ? Perhaps. Since I would never truly know, the thoughts were dismissed as I opened the screen door to proceed back inside the patio. Then the high pitched screams began again, this time I looked down and scanned the ground to see what or where it was coming from. Just outside of our screened in patio I have a small collection of empty flower pots; one pot, a terra-cotta, orchid pot was turned upside down, I had done this thinking it would provide a nice shelter for a toad or a frog or maybe a lizard or two.
Photo above...Empty potting pots, the terra-cotta pot is an orchid pot and has several slits for drainage and allows the orchid roots to grow through. As you can see the pot bears the remains of the last orchard plant that resided in it. Orchard roots are very difficult to remove as they fasten themselves securely to whatever they are growing in.
It was from the terra-cotta orchid pot that the squeals were emanating and just outside of that pot was our resident black snake, trying desperately to get its head through one of the long, narrow drainage slits carved out of the clay pot. Quickly I rattled the handle of the screen door and just as quickly the snake stopped it's attempt to gain entrance into the pot. He looked up at me with his shiny ebony eyes, his tongue darting about sensing the air and gathering all the information that it contained. Possibly the information he gathered told him it was me and so quietly and in no hurry he meandered back into the bushes that ran alongside of the house. For a moment I looked down at the orchid pot, even though I was brimming with curiosity I was sure that I really did not want to lift the pot to see what was inside of it .
Not much later I spoke to my hubby, John. "Uh, do snakes scream?"
John turned and looked at me, a look that read; "Did I just hear you say what I think you said?"
So I went on; "I've never heard a snake make any noise before. Can they make any sounds?"
"Only a hiss." John answered.