Earlier this spring, I was mowing along the country road that I live on. As I pulled out into the road, I saw a small Rough Green Snake (Opheodrys aestivus) laying in the middle of the road, apparently warming up to the sun that was hitting the gravel road. Not wanting this little guy to get hit by a car (we live on a very rural road, but the cars traveling over this road presents a big challenge to this reptile as they cross the road), I stopped the mower, got off and walked over and picked him up. I have done this many times since we moved here, and have never been bitten by one of these very docile snakes. I walked him back up the driveway, near the house. I put him in a small tree (they love to lay in low-hanging branches of trees) and went inside to grab my camera.
After returning, I photographed “Mr. Green Jeans” for about 20 minutes, before leaving him on his own, in the safety of my yard, and me returning to the mower. Here are a few images I captured of this little beauty:
The rough green snake is found throughout the southern half of Missouri. It grows to 22-32 inches long and is always very slender. They are active by day and live in bushes, vines and low-hanging branches of trees near streams or lakes. When hiking the woods, it is very easy to miss this snake as it blends in so well with the green foliage! The rough green snake feeds on soft-bodies insects, grasshoppers (a favorite!), crickets and smooth caterpillars. It also enjoys spiders. So you can see, this is a very beneficial snake … it acts as a natural exterminator and does not bite!