Snake

Snake Gif

I was driving to my sister’s house the other day and had just gone around the corner from THO when I found that there was a snake directly on the path of my car.  I was not driving fast, about 30 KPH (just under 20 MPH) so I was able to swerve to miss it.  I stopped the car and walked back to be sure I did not accidentally clip it and when I did, I was surprised by the snake I found.

I had fully expected to see an endangered grey ratsnake (commonly called  blacksnake).  These often huge snakes make their home in the area where THO is located.

Don’t get me wrong, I am not a snake lover.  I admit that am only mildly tolerant of their existence.  I am not scared of them exactly, but I find the way that they suddenly move when you are almost on top of them startling.  I have no desire to touch them either. I find the way the move and wrap around things very icky.  Still,  I certainly would not intentionally kill one, as a matter of fact I find the practice of those who kill them, distasteful at best.

The snake was fully unharmed by my drive by, but it was certainly not a ratsnake.  The thing is, that I can’t identify exactly what sort of snake it was… and is the part that has kept me from writing about it.  The snake with the closest markings (frighteningly) is the Eastern Massasauga Rattlesnake but the snake was more slender than images I have seen.  I also did not notice a rattle but I did not get much of a look because it slithered away before I could get a good look (or my camera).  The only other similar snake (that I am aware of) in this area is the milksnake, which both the pattern and the colour were wrong for.

I have never known rattlers to be in the area, but I am concerned that perhaps they are now here because of the way that the climate is altering.

Does anyone have any ideas that are not included here?  If so, please do share a link to an image so that I can have a look and try to properly identify it.

Thanks!

Here are the Unique Features:

The snake was the same colour  as the Massasauga –  Tan/gold and brown.

It had a diamond pattern down both sides as with the Massasauga.

It was about one metre (a yard) in length.

It was a thinner snake similar to the common garter snake in breadth.

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Categories: Nature, Off Grid, Ontario, Tiny House Ontario | 13 Comments

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13 thoughts on “Snake

  1. Allen Hayes

    Laura,
    Hi again. Snakes are beneficial to us as humans since a large part of the diet of many snakes in Canada are mice. Without snakes to control their population, your tiny house would be overrun by the little furry critters, which have quite an “icky” factor of their own to many people. Aside from this benefit to humankind, snakes also provide a valuable food source to many creatures we might consider majestic and noble, such as hawks and owls. All of us have our place in the grand scheme.
    Allen Hayes

  2. Allen Hayes

    Snakes don’t “migrate”. They and their habitats are constantly under pressure. If what you saw was a meter long, it would not be a Massassauga even if they did inhabit areas around Kingston (which they don’t). I suspect what you saw was either an Eastern Milk Snake or a young Black Rat Snake. Both would have patterns not unlike the Massassauga, if not more pronounced. The Rat snake gets black as it gets older. In any case, although a bit “creepy”, they are beneficial. Allen

    • Thanks Allen. I appreciate what appears to be you expert advice. Glad to know it is not a rattler. I wonder what snakes are beneficial for. I know this seems like a cheeky question. I really would like to know.
      Laura

  3. Could have been a bull snake. They eat rattlers and are aggressive.

  4. Kim Ralston

    http://www.wisegeek.org/what-is-a-chicken-snake.htm#slideshow

    Did it look like this? If so it was a chicken snake and not venomous.

    • It could be… but we don’t have chicken snakes (with these kinds of markings) up here. The ones we have are flat dark grey.
      However… there are people who get snakes and free them when they get sick of taking care of them… one never really knows, I guess.

  5. Laura, I really hope you don’t have rattlers moving into your area. Have you considered it could have been young yet which would account for the size difference you found. Please share when you find out what it was.

    • I really hope so too Lois! People here always say that the blacksnakes keep the rattlers away because they kill them… but I can’t find any documented proof of this. I did read that kingsnakes kill rattlers, but we don’t have these here either.
      Rattlers are the only poison snakes we have but never in our area as far as I know… I am the first person I know who thinks I saw one. This said… perhaps it is a “pet” snake that someone just let free and then one could never find out what they are.

      • I too live in an area without rattlers, but all areas around me do, its only a matter of time before they migrate here I guess.

      • Oh I hope not! Hopefully they don’t move in next door because they don’t like the soil or something…

  6. Wow! I have no idea or photos but I do also recall seeing one years ago the Massasauga kind. I don’t live too far into rural now but, I know some friends tat MIGHT have info. What area were you driving (approximately)? What snakes came up for viewable or found in that particular neighbourhood?

    • Very near Kingston Ontario. I posted a link for local snakes, but I don’t find the snake at all. I have googled a few times in the last couple of days. It honestly bugs me when I don’t know things. If you know any snake people please send them the link, I would very much like to know if I did indeed see a skinny rattlesnake.

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