Every year during the rainy season, we find snakes in the open ground adjacent to our apartment and the only thing preserve either of us was the compound wall; but this time one of a snakes entered our parking lot and slithering here and there before thrown other side of the compound wall by our watchman. This was the first I saw a snake come across the compound wall, whereas I have heard my neighbors making noise about snake couple of times early, and I believe it could have come through the open gate at the entrance since there’s less chance for them climbing the plain vertical wall.
From the time we shifted to apartment in 2005, the open ground has been left unchanged with growth of wild vegetation and survival of few trees; and except threaten of snakes, it has the advantage of many esp. deriving different species of birds and insects and giving a pleasant stay environment of calm and less pollution. A year back to back too, we sighted a rat snake staying sometime along the other side of our compound wall and among the debris making its bedroom by wrapping an old bed left by someone (check the photos here).
|(click pictures for enlarge to view the snake scale near)|
Two days later to Deepavli, my mom found a shed snake skin or scale on the open ground along with the neighbors, and few meters from our house the snake had molted its entire scale stretching few meters in length. Some said it’s a cobra scale and it must shed during the new moon occasion but being uncertain, I compared the photos which mom captured for me, with Google images, to ensure the species.
I also learn that the process of shedding scale in snakes, which according to scientific term, known as Ecdysis (strip off in Ancient Greek), or molting or sloughing in normal usage is shedding of the complete outer layer of the skin in one layer, which is a repeated process periodically throughout a snake’s life. A snake is suppose to shed its skin once or twice a year, whereas the younger once which still growing shed up to four times a year and many a time the skin peels backward over the body from head to tail, in one piece like an old sock.
It’s said that the snake stops eating and often hides or moves to a safe place before shedding the skin; the snake wriggles out aided by rubbing against rough surfaces is demonstrated through my above pictures. The discarded skin gives a perfect imprint of the scale pattern and it is possible to identify the snake as this discard is reasonably complete and intact.