All Creatures Welcome

…except for you Mr. Slither McSlitherpants:

Unwelcome until I did a little research –  urged after watching my mom, dad, Chris, and Noah chase him into the woods with an old plank from one of the cabin renovations and a machete while I stood on the porch in my towel looking on at the excitement. (I could not make this stuff up if I tried – never a dull moment.)

Me: Oh yeah. That’s the one that was hanging around the other day! I took some pictures of him.

Mom: Is it poisonous?

Me: I don’t think so, but I didn’t get a chance to ask him.

Dad: Do you want it dead?

Chris: I wouldn’t mind if it was dead.

Noah: Ssthhhh

And it this point in the shenanigans the snake has obviously ducked for cover. He’s safe – for now. And good thing for him because that allowed me to do a little digging into his true identity You see, all of my outdoor training and living that helped me to clearly identify that he was NOT dangerous wasn’t sufficient for my mom and dad (or even my husband). So, here’s what I found:

  • East TN is home to 4 species of venomous snakes – two types of rattlers, copperheads, and cottonmouths (water snake) – he was clearly none of those.
  • According to his coloring and head/eye shape (round, not diamond) and with the help of Alabama Outdoors, I think he is likely a Black Kingsnake.
  • Kingsnakes “thrive in many habitats including hardwood and pine forests, bottomlands and swamps, farmlands and suburban areas. It is strongly terrestrial, but inhabits areas close to water such as stream banks and swamp boarders. They are secret and are frequently found under boards, tin or other cover objects.” I think we qualify for all of the above – except maybe the suburbia part.
  • Here is the BEST part (and divinely intended, I do believe): they EAT other snakes – namely rattlesnakes, copperheads, and cottonmouths. Hm – where have I heard those names before (please see bullet point A if you are slow on the uptake)?

Amen, hallelujah!

McSlitherpants you have been pardoned!

Stay off my porch and you can keep your head. We’ll be great friends just yet.

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