Western coachwhip

  • Western coachwhip in former mess hall.
  • Western coachwhip in Chinati fields

West Texas, like all desert regions, is home to a number of snake species, including the fabulous western coachwhip, which is sometimes called the red racer. Can you guess why? Western coachwhips are known for being very fast and, around Marfa, they are often red or bright pink, though they can also be tan or olive colored. These snakes can grow to be up to seven feet long! Coachwhips mostly eat lizards, small snakes, mice, and birds. The western coachwhip is non-venomous, although they do have sharp teeth that could certainly cause a painful bite. This particular coachwhip was discovered in one of Chinati’s buildings that houses wall paintings made by a soldier stationed at the old military fort.

Can you draw an animal with LOTS of color? Today, draw any animal you can think of that flaunts fantastic colors! Can you do a little research to find out why the animal is colorful?

Photo by Jessica Lutz. Video by Rowdy Dugan.