Monday, May 11, 2015

Black Rat Snake

Yesterday, I had my first Black Rat Snake encounter of the year.  I usually find them basking in the sun at this time of year, but the high temperatures have topped 90oF every day this past week, so there has been no need for snakes to seek the sun for warmth.  I think this is a good photo for people with a fear of snakes.  Who could be afraid of an animal that is powerless to stop a fly from riding along on its nose?  Oh, maybe some people didn’t stick around long enough to notice the fly.

The snake was emerging from the unmowed area surrounding the bird feeders.  This area is directly between the barn and the house, and is often used by the snakes as they move back-and-forth between the two structures in their constant search for mice.  This individual is making its way to the house.

The bright sunlight makes it easy to see the pattern on the snake’s skin.  So far, I have yet to see a Black Rat Snake that has grown large enough to completely lose the pattern of its youth.

The snakes enter the house through the garage door which is on the side away from the barn.  I’ve watched many snakes make the trip along the house foundation on their way to the snake access left open for them at the lower corner of garage door.  I’ve noticed some mouse activity near my bird feed storage area, so I’m sure the snake will find a couple of easy meals.  Using the bricks as a measurement aid, I think this snake could just make five feet long.

I’m still learning how to use the video features of my camera, so I have once again attached a video to my post.  The stairwell leading to an old cellar beneath the house acts as a minor obstacle to the snakes.  Instead of going around, they crawl down one side and up the other.  I filmed the snake as it left the stairwell and continued its journey towards the garage.  The video can also been seen on YouTube by clicking HERE.  I usually must reduce the size of the video file in order to post to Blogger, so the YouTube version is often has much more resolution.


  1. I really like the idea of living with our native snakes as a way of controlling mouse populations. It seems much better than the typical solution (cats) in a lot of ways. Plus, snakes are just cool!

    1. Hi, Elizabeth. I agree. I would enjoy the snakes even if they ignored the mice.