Fortunately, only one chop short of disaster, I spotted this new-born corn snake in time, and it remained unscathed by the hoe as I cleaned up garden weeds the other day.
I had seen a much larger adult behind the shed a week earlier–probably the same one I photographed hanging deceptively rope-like among the loops of cord and wire in the same shed last summer.
I brought the young corn snake inside to show a friend, here working on some computer projects, and he held the docile snake in his hands for this photograph.
At first glance, they might appear to the snakeophobe as a copperhead. Please look twice before chopping one of these snakes in two with a shovel or bashing it in with a rock to protect your children or animals.
These are beneficial around house or garden or barn, as they eat rodents (but also some birds and other small reptiles or amphibians) and kill by constriction. If they strike and bite, they are non-poisonous, and will cause less harm than a house cat scratching you or getting stuck by a blackberry or Smilax vine.
Note on the google images page the general elongated head, typical of rat snakes, versus the broader head and thicker body of a copperhead. If you can get the snake to roll over (you’ll likely have to be holding it) you’ll see the speckled belly pattern that might give these snakes their common name (looks like variegated corn) and their species name, guttata, which means speckled.
- A Simple Guide to Looking After a Corn Snake (therealowner.com)