Say hello to my little friend

I was out yesterday feeding the dog, when I was walking across the deck to go go back into the house when I saw this critter. He (or she) was just up against house slinking away, so I ran into the house to get the camera. When I came back out it was gone, but I went down to the end of the house and looked around the corner and saw this:

I don’t know if it went under the house and came out of the hole in the underpinning here, or maybe it was backing into the hole. I sneaked up to it to get another pic, and it slid back into the hole a bit. So, I banged on the wall a bit and it slid out some:

After banging the wall a bit more, it wanted out of there, so I got a shot of it slithering away:

It made a bee line for the pond, and I never saw it again. I assume it was going over there to cool off. From what my wife said, it was either a blue or black racer, a non-venomous snake. Looking at some pics online that’s what it appears to be, or maybe a king snake. She’s told me a story about a racer chasing her when she was a teenager, bet she enjoyed that. Not. I’m just going to let those be, because they help keep the mice population down.


We called something similar black snake- one of a bunch of benign constrictors that do, indeed, help keep mouse, and grasshopper etc., populations down. We had those; my Colorado cousins had a brown version they called bull snakes. We’d catch them and turn them loose under the house to control mice. My brother took one to church one Sunday and everything was fine until my mother found out on the way home.


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And then, pray tell, what happened?

Yep, that is a racer but around here we simply call them “Black Snakes”. They can get quite large. I’ve seen them 5-6’ long and they are great for vermin control. I had one that was always patroling the shed at my old house. My wife wouldn’t go near that shed. She always asked me why I didn’t kill it. While I’m not afraid of snakes I’m like pretty much any other human in that I get startled when I first see them. Once I know where the snake is they don’t bother me. Unless it’s a Rattler or copperhead.

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She was a little indignant … he was serving at holy communion. I guess the vestments added a level of security. The snake was content inside his shirt- nice and warm, you know.

White rats like that same environment but it is probably not a good idea to try them both at the same time.


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