For the past several days we have seen a small, black rat snake around the backyard. He is a young one about 3 ft. long and pretty thin and very skittish so he moves quickly. Today he was out when the camera was handy.
Here it is wrapping itself around the bearded irises in the woodland garden
This angle shows him resting his head on one of the dead blades
When things got a little busy in the garden (i.e. dog & kids running around) he found himself a home in an old stump and tucked himself away.
Now, I haven't always been a big fan of snakes. Frankly, they still make me a little nervous if I get too close but these are great snakes to have around. They are non-venomous and basically harmless. They are territorial so they do a good job keeping the "bad" snakes away (i.e. copperheads, rattlesnakes and the occasional water moccasin). They also live on the rodents that I don't want to have in my garden such as the voles, moles, and rabbits and some of the ones that I like having around such as birds and chipmunks. But you have to take the bad with the good sometimes. All I know is that it better get busy reducing the vole, mole and rabbit populations in the garden before I loose too many plants to their demise.