Excellent eyes! As Charles, Heidi, and Andrew pointed out the mystery critter was indeed a snake in the grass (er, brush). Hiding in this month’s Mystery Challenge photo was a Northwestern Garter Snake (Thamnophis ordinoides), common along the coastal regions of northern California and Oregon. We saw at least four of them while out hiking along the Oregon Coast Trail that day.
Thanks to everyone who hazarded a guess. Check back next month for another dose of fun!