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I saw a snake upon the stairs - badgerblog
August 22nd, 2011
08:32 am

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I saw a snake upon the stairs



We found (more accurately maegwynn found and I captured) another rat snake yesterday afternoon on the stairs. Definitely not the same one as the snake in the kitchen in mid-July as this one was a little under three feet long and the July one was over four feet and about twice as thick. This one was very docile: once I caught it it leaned its head over to rest on my knuckle as I walked it out a couple of hundred yards away from the house. I wonder where they're coming from.

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From:infinitehotel
Date:August 22nd, 2011 03:02 pm (UTC)
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Pretty!

On the plus side, I've been told that the presence of rat snakes usually means you don't have to worry so much about copperheads. (I wish I saw more of them around our neighborhood...)
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From:badger
Date:August 22nd, 2011 03:09 pm (UTC)
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Any documentation for that assertion?

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From:infinitehotel
Date:August 22nd, 2011 03:54 pm (UTC)
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Just conversation with a woman at work; browsing now though, it looks like she might have been referring to other black snakes (black racers and king snakes will kill copperheads.) Adult Rat snakes do eat baby snakes of other species but brief googling hasn't turned up an explicit mention for copperheads. So, nope, no solid documentation; barefoot frolicking through the woods is still contraindicated.
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From:badger
Date:August 22nd, 2011 04:09 pm (UTC)
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Ok, I'll just ignore what you said :).

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From:ursulav
Date:August 22nd, 2011 04:40 pm (UTC)
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In defense of the above, I've had a herp person on my blog say that rat snakes do tend to keep copperheads out, since rat snakes are territorial and fond of eating other snakes. (Young copperheads have snake wanderlust, so you still may get them passing through, but they won't stay in an area with a big enough blacksnake living in it.) Of course it's not just copperheads---they'll eat ANY snake they can get their teeth in.

Your friend there is a very handsome boy!
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From:badger
Date:August 22nd, 2011 04:58 pm (UTC)
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So noted and I appreciate the support for the argument above. I rarely see copperheads or water moccasins around: one copperhead in my driveway and two water moccasins next to the creek, but 100 yards or so down the greenway from the house, in a decade doesn't count as "often" to me. I've had four snakes in the house in the same decade time period, all four common black snakes or rat snakes.

This one was very docile, and had clearly been in the house for more than a couple of minutes. Once he adapted to my hand, he stayed there long enough for me to get the camera and get two pictures, and lowered his head slightly to rest on my index knuckle.
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From:lunablack
Date:August 27th, 2011 01:33 pm (UTC)
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Cute!

Maybe they've suddenly all heard about coffee and good books and such and thought they'd give that whole living indoors thing a try.
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From:badger
Date:August 27th, 2011 01:41 pm (UTC)
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They should knock first. :)
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