Black Rat Snakes were not particularly common when we first moved to this property 30+ years ago. After a few years, snakes took up residence in our barn, garage and attic. From then on, encounters with adult Black Rat Snakes became common. It’s just been in the last couple of years that I have begun to regularly see youngsters.
I found this young snake perched on a leaning stake intended to hold up the side of a brush pile. From this position, the snake had nowhere to go. I think it was contemplating its next move as I arrived.
Almost every young Black Rat Snake that I find seems to have a distinctive bulge of a recently swallow meal. I always picture a mouse inside the bulge, but it could just as easily be some other small mammal, bird, reptile or amphibian.
After a moment of watching me take its picture, the snake turned around and headed down into the brush pile. Somewhere in that mass of branches is probably where the cause of the snake’s bulge came from.
I found it interesting that as I entered the garage just minutes from having my young snake encounter, I came upon an adult Black Rat Snake patrolling the storage area in search of a tasty rodent meal. This could easily be a parent of the youngster outside.