Wednesday, October 23, 2013

The Bull in the Jar

I recently needed to access the specimen collection housed at a nearby University.

This collection has many specimens that are of historical importance.

As I was climbing up and down the ladder, looking through various jars, I happened to glance up and see the following tag.....

Peering back at me through the sheer wall of his eternal resting place, sat The Beast......

......a large Bullsnake (Pituophis catenifer sayi), which is now a rather rare species in our neck of the woods.  In fact, it has likely been decades since one has existed on campus at the now urban university where this specimen is housed.

Although his clouded eye didn't see me, I couldn't help but smile at him.  It may seem strange to smile at the sight of a dead snake in a jar....and it is perhaps a shame that this once impressive critter ended up sitting in preservative on a shelf.

Yet, my smile was broad. 

Just imagining this large fella scaring the hell out of the inhabitants of the "men's dormitories" at the university over 80 years cannot help but chuckle.


  1. It's always interesting to see what's been forgotten. Like I wrote about the old, old bear skull I found among hundreds in a basement walk-in cooler...he'd been forgotten for I bet at LEAST 30 years, more like 40. Cool post, Doc!