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Snakes and ticks have woken up

Every farmer I have ever met, without exception, has a snake phobia. This is certainly a result of confirmation bias as the rare snake encounters are the only instances where feelings about snakes are made apparent. However I don’t understand why barn cats are kept for varmint control while snakes are vilified.

Yesterday I had a very cool experience, especially as a snake lover. While collecting my brewing equipment I realized I was bent directly over a snake! The snake was not one I had ever seen before even with a few years of snake specific work. He or she was banded like a juvenile black rat snake but was far too big to be a juvie snake.

I went searching the snake species in Virginia, specifically those in the Shenandoah valley. It wasn’t until I subbmited a picture to a forum that I learned that my new friend was an Eastern Milk Snake. I didn’t even know their range covered this area!

Here is the body:

IMG_20150408_130939

And the head:

IMG_20150408_130956

Even if you don’t like snakes, isn’t that a beautiful pattern?

Unfortunately, the ticks have woken up as well. I really need to get chickens to keep the tick, stinkbug etc population down!

 

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