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California King Snake

At a nearby county park I noticed a woman "herding" something across the parking lot. Curious, I went to investigate and found that she was encouraging a medium sized California King Snake to leave the parking lot where it had been sunning itself on the warm pavement.

Not that this snake needed much encouragement. It clearly wanted to get away from the small crowd of people who had by now gathered to watch its progress. I had a great deal of trouble getting it to hold still for these photos. At one point, I stood right in front of it. Not hesitating for a moment, it slid between my tennis shoes and made its way quickly into a nearby meadow disappearing into the high grass.

Such a sweet little face and such pretty markings, including a white star on its head.

The California King Snake's distinctive markings make it easy to identify.
These snakes are sweet natured and timid.
When startled by a human, they will seek to escape quickly.

When sighting a Kingsnake, immediately take a photo.
A single photo is all you might get of this shy little snake.
Just as I took this photo, this snake sprang to life and quickly slithered off trail.

Slithering: Drum Canyon Road, Santa Barbara County
In addition to the usual markings, see the three black bars?
Close-up view of a very pretty little snake.
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