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Looking at You

Black Rat Snake (Elaphe obsoleta)

Black rat snakes (Elaphe obsoleta) are the most common snake in our part of the world. We’ve seen at least half a dozen in our yard this season. Since they eat mice, voles, and chipmunks, it’s no surprise that they’ve showed up here—and we’re glad for the help with reducing the populations of those rodents.

My reptilophile (is that a word?) husband says these snakes can be snappy if you bother them, but like most snakes, they would rather get away than confront. They’re very good to have around, even if they’re kind of creepy.


PS: Around here only my husband would get this close to a snake. He had his phone camera in one hand and grabbed the guy by the tail with the other, which made him coil up and glare. I don’t recommend that “grabbed him by the tail” part.

This Post Has 4 Comments
  1. I agree with you both Janet and Daricia! We are getting a lot of plant damage from the chipmunks, voles and moles. It can be frustrating. I do enjoy watching the snakes. I unknowingly backed up to one while photographing some flowers. Needless to say the snake wasn’t too happy and curled up to look fierce just as you described. It was only trying to protect itself and of course my heart was beating but I still had to take photos of it!

    1. That’s dedicated, Karin! Ha! Good job! I did love your post about rat snakes. It’s sad how many of them are still killed unnecessarily because of peoples’ fear. Hopefully posts like ours will help change that.

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