Elaphe obsoleta (a.k.a. the Black Rat Snake) is indeed a friend of mine!
I know, I know the creepy factor is too much for a lot of people, including the man that I am married to! However even he has developed an appreciation for this particular snake. See it has been living in the garage (I knew this he didn't) for a long, long time.
Each spring I go about planting up my flower boxes on deck and I happened to look down to see a tiny head poking out from between the door and the wall. I moved in for a closer look and it was a very small black snake. We looked at each other a bit and I went back to planting my boxes and it went back to laying in the sun by the door. I saw the snake in the garage several times over the course of the summer and duly noted that the mice droppings had ceased appearing near my birdseed. I liked the arrangement as I will never, ever poison anything!
The following years proved to be replicas of the past, first spring day I open the door and start to plant up the boxes is the first spring day my scaled pal would appear. The above picture was taken in 2006. This snake doesn't so much as flinch when I walk past it, it's pretty cool and well what can I say, I love snakes!
Randy however wasn't really brought up to share that sentiment and it's taken a lot of work on my part to convince him that snakes aren't bad and that they really don't want to be bothered by you. It took a major event though to seal this snakes fate! See one day Randy discovered my friend in the garage during the early summer of 2009 and promptly insisted that I remove it. I tried to explain to him that the snake was keeping the mice out of the garage but he wasn't buying it. So I had to relocate my pal down into the woods.
Well, it wasn't long after that, that the mice started getting into the birdseed again. It wasn't until they brought their furry fury onto his car or rather into it, that he realized the value of that snake! You see the mice decided to chew their way into his car and they filled his blower up with dog treats!
They also chewed some of the leather on his seats, ate part of his bluetooth headset and to top it all off one got stuck inside the venting and died and wow did that smell! He had to completely disassmeble the dash to remove the treats and the body!
Well a few months later he came into the house and asked me to come out into the garage. There sitting perched atop his tool box (and looking quite smug) was my pal. Randy asked would I please move him, making sure to let me know that I didn't have to relocate him, just get him off the tool box. So I ushered him away to the other side of the garage.
Needless to say I was very happy to see him again this spring in the garage.
Once my pal got warmed in the sun I was really impressed! The size alone let's me know that I won't have any problems with mice as long as this one is around.
It's a face that I love and one that will always be welcome in my yard and garage!!!!