We see surprisingly few snakes while we're out caching. This was by far the most urban encounter, right along a busy street. The snake ignored us and kept thrashing around – "Is it eating something?" Ken said.
The Western Fence Lizard, like many lizards, has a tail that easily breaks off, so the attacking snake/housecat/etc gets the tail and the rest of the lizard gets the hell out of there. Which is what must've happened right as we arrived.
Once it was done, it skedaddled back into the leaves, very quickly. (But left a tiny bit of tail sticking out, which was funny. If it can't see us, we can't see it, right?)
I initially assumed this was a garter snake, but the more identification stuff I looked at, the more it seemed like the striped version of the California Kingsnake. Which is cool. (They are still pretty common around here, but people seem to find them interesting, so hey.)