Reptile-Amphibian #3 — Black Rat Snake

elaphe obsoleta

Friday, May 13, 1983 — 3:00 pm

Conway, Arkansas — Happy Valley

I was walking home from birding along the powerline clearing near the Sperry’s house. I saw the Rat Snake stretched out on the ground in the woods along the road that runs along the ridge above the house. Its head was resting on a log. It didn’t move until I prodded it with a stick (gently). It then moved slowly to a nearby bush, climbed it and tried twice, unsuccessfully, to reach a nearby tree. On the third try, it missed again but fell onto a low fork of a second tree. It climbed slowly up that on into the top branches, moving slowly the entire time.

It was three feet long, black with cream showing between the scales. Its chin was white. Its belly was checked cream and gray.

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