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Black Rat Snake

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Black Rat Snake
This one was coiled around some tree limbs near the summit of Compton Peak.

Many ignorant or barbaric people kill these snakes on sight, mistaking them for venomous cottonmouths (water moccasins), or just because they hate snakes or enjoy killing things.

Growing up to four feet long, perhaps longer, the black rat snake is not venomous, but it does like to bite, and I have been bitten by a few over the years (they do not have fangs, but they do have small teeth which are sharp enough to draw blood; the teeth help the snake grasp its prey while swallowing it). They are welcomed by most farmers because they prey on rodents.

Shenandoah National Park, Virginia-- October 2007


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Voted 10/10

Garden of Eden quality. Spooky, but great shot!
Posted Sep 19, 2008 9:08 am

Bob SihlerRe: woah

Bob Sihler

Hasn't voted

Thanks, Byron. This snake was an amazingly good patient while I photographed it. It didn't have anything tempting to offer, though!
Posted Sep 19, 2008 12:38 pm

Arthur DigbeeRe: woah

Arthur Digbee

Voted 10/10

I think it likes you. ;)

Quite a shot!
Posted Sep 19, 2008 9:12 pm

Bob SihlerRe: woah

Bob Sihler

Hasn't voted

At least someone does. My wife just had our third child (a month ago, actually), and she's not letting me near her now!

This one didn't bite me, but it did try. I guess experience has developed an instinct for jumping back. One of the most embarrassing episodes of my life was when one of these snakes bit me in the cheek back when I was 12 (a neighbor had called and asked me to get the snake from her yard, as I was the local kid who liked walking around with snakes), and my mother insisted on taking me to the doctor despite my protestations. To be fair, I have to say that a cottonmouth once bit her when we lived in SC. Still, the doctor pretty much rolled his eyes, to my chagrin but not my mother's.

By the way, it's great to see that the Gallatins page is featured now.
Posted Sep 19, 2008 9:32 pm

lcarreauGotta wonder


Voted 10/10

'bout some of these YAHOOS who kill snakes
on sight. I never got a reasonable
explanation from someone killing a snake.
They just do it - kind of like an old
'tennis shoe' commercial. It's truly sad!!

Posted Sep 19, 2008 11:21 pm

Bob SihlerRe: Gotta wonder

Bob Sihler

Hasn't voted

There is no bottom to people's senseless cruelty against animals and against each other.
Posted Sep 22, 2008 9:25 am

lcarreauRe: Gotta wonder


Voted 10/10

"Can't we all just get along?"

Peace to you, Bob!

Posted Sep 22, 2008 10:51 am

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Image Data
Bob SihlerSubmitted by Bob Sihler
on Sep 19, 2008 7:48 am

Image ID: 444529
Hits: 5103 
Object Title: Black Rat Snake

Image Type(s): Wildlife