But we had our first snake event at the lake today. Don was busy working on putting in some wiring for a light pole in front of our house; he left the electrical junction box for a bit, to assemble the light, and while he was gone I wandered by. There, curled up and around and all over the electrical box, was a S.N.A.K.E.
In retrospect, now that our hearts aren't beating quite so fast, we are sad to think that this was probably a harmless rat snake of some sort. I, being the thorough type, have a book called very appropriately, "Texas Snakes". But when the snake is curled around the electrical box you don't run in the house and get the book. You grab the camera and take a step or 10 back, while you watch your husband whack it with a shovel.
So - we ordered a poster of poisonous snakes that we'll put up somewhere in the garage for future reference. While I don't really want to adopt any snake for a pet, we also don't want to kill a harmless snake. Instead, brave Don will lift him with the pitchfork and carry him across the yard, setting him loose in the vacant lot next door. Even knowing he might well come back for another visit. In the meantime, is anyone out there up on their snakes? Anyone who doesn't have a queasy stomach?
I know it's not the same snake that showed up in our daughter, Sarah's barn yesterday. Hers definitely looks different. This one was two to three feet long, sort of skinny, tried to get away and only tried to strike when it was clear it was in danger.
My guesses are: Great Plains rat snake, Texas rat snake or Prairie King snake. Can anyone tell me definitely?