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Posted By Ashful,
Jun 8, 2013 at 4:17 PM
Brown with black spots and yellow stripes. 18" long, 1/2 - 3/4" dia.
Was a garter. Let go near the wood lot.
Yah, its not a diamond back rattler... its a checkered garter. A ways north for that species.
Garters are fairly common around here. I don't see them often myself, but others do. My family seems to have run-ins with copperheads and rattlers, instead.
I would expect you to have eastern garters, but not checkered garters. Checkered garters supposedly can be tamed rather fast and are more common in places like Texas.
Ah... showing my ignorance, again. At my old place, I'd see a snake maybe once every 10 years. By the time I'd see one again, I'd forget what a garter looked like.
New place is decidedly more rural. Neighbors tell me I'll become much more familiar with snakes, living here.
Unless you get up on a ridge in a state forest where the Timber rattlers are, the only common venomous guy there will be a copperhead.(Many snakes will rattle their naked tails, and in dry leaves, it's a very good impression.)
You might see a milk snake or water snake often mistaken for them . Note the oval brown saddles on grey for the milk, the unpointed bands on the water and connecting Hershey kisses on the copperhead. That old guy at the river calling that watersnake a "water moccasin" is wrong. None in PA.
Mostly black snakes round here. Always sunning in front of the garage doors. Always catch me off guard when I walk out the front door, and then I yell at them telling them how the scared the crap out of me LOL.
There was a nice large one hanging in the garage at times. This one today was smaller, maybe 4'.
Good mousers. Hopefully no 30' mutant ones come over from the nuke plant!
I don't know how big they can get. The largest I seen was the one in the garage, he was about 5' i guess maybe 2" to 2-1/2 " wide my best guess. Is mostly all black. Not sure if it is a rat snake or a black racer.
Always see the offspring slithering around out front around the entrance way and out back near the porch. They need to eat more mice, as there is no shortage of them round here.
Here is two I caught mating in the garage. Let them go up the road a bit. Actually I don't even know if they mate. Just figured they were getting it on in the garage.
Nice! My personal record was 6' 2".Probably caught over 100 as a kid, mostly in PA. They can push 7' though, and hysterical people swear they are 10'
Lots of that color phase here in central NY.
If I saw a 7' snake in my garage, I'd want to be REAL sure of proper ID before I go shooing it into a bucket.
Snakes on a PLANE!
Sorry, had to say that.
Seems odd that they are in NY and PA. Checkered garters are listed as having a southern US habitat. In some states, like Kansas, they are listed as endangered. Maybe they are moving north?
Larry on the TV-dubbed version: "I'm tired of these monkey-fighting snakes on this Monday to Friday plane!"
No kidding, I couldn't make that up.
NY lists them as just highly variable including many pics of checkered individuals. My little girl kept one (checkered) for the summer last year. Maybe it's regarded as a separate species or sub-species in the southwest?
It's pretty amazing how many variations there can be within one species of snake. Around here there is crossbreeding that can make it near impossible to truly distinguish the snake.
If you ever find an intact shed the trick to identifying poisonous vs. non-poisonous is the underbelly segments behind the anus.
Split segments=non poisonous(except for coral snake) and solid segments=poisonous
Interesting, but sort of irrelevant, if all you have is a shed skin. I care more at the moment when I find a live snake in the garage.
'"Now roll over, so I can tell if you're poisonous."
Compared to places like Australia, Asia and Africa, we have very few poisonous snakes here. They are:
Pit vipers: 17 species all over, including Rattlers, Water Moccasin/Cottonmouths, and Copperheads.
Coral snakes: 2 species found mostly in the southern most US states. Remember Red on yellow can kill a fellow.
Not to quibble, but it's raining and I like snakes; The Yellow Bellied Sea Snake, a marine species is listed as occasional in southern California, supposedly weaker venom than some, but dangerous.
Two rear fanged and mildly venomous Night Snakes (California and Desert) are native to California.
Well, I have been out stomping around the great outdoors my entire life, and I have seen only one poisonous snake. That was a large rattler just east of Big Sur, California on a camping/hiking trip in a remote place called Pine Valley. I lived all over California for 40 years, including the desert and San Diego, and I never heard of those other snakes. But I guess I have to stand corrected....
Nah, not corrected, augmented. I've never seen a live one in the wild in the US, although the PA railroad guys from places like Shikshinny, Wapwallopen, Macanacwa,and Hop Bottom used to bring rattlers for lunch on occasion They liked the yellar phase best! The only two poisonous snakes I've seen at large were within 20 min. of each other in Costa Rica. Found a dead one of the above sea snakes on Playa Conchal early one morning and of course poked it with a stick in true Hominid fashion ( better'n a finger though). Lucky I wasn't between it and the beach or it woulda' bored right through me! Decided to circle the lagoon through the brush and scree in my flip flops in true Buffet fashion (better'n bare foot though) and scuffed up a baby Terciopelo ( Fer de lance) inches from my big toe. He stared at it (the toe) till I felt a need to break the impasse before he did and snached it away (the toe). I've since surmised that the large toe in our species serves as sort of an advance guard against assult of various forms and have taken to painting eyes on mine to heighten the effect.
So here I sit, augmented...
But crickey mate! Better not wind up dead like that Crocodile Hunter! I know he was not killed by a snake, or a big crock, but he messed with them all the time.
Funniest thing I've heard today!
Think I'll do it myself if for no other reason than the funny looks.