Ms. Observant…NOT

As I was walking up the driveway today after one of our regular trips to Lowe’s & Home Depot (what do other people do on the weekends?), I was so happy to notice the pretty flowers and Garth the Gargoyle in the sun…

flowers&garth

…that I walked right past this guy/gal poised on the porch steps (right next to the planter in the picture)…

visitor

I was several steps beyond the 4-ft beauty when Mike said, “Hey, look what you walked right by!”

Then I had a small heart attack.

Then I ran for the camera.

By then s/he had slithered across the driveway, heading toward neighbor Chris’s.

visitor2

Thanks to John from The Carnegie Museum of Natural History and Jason from Pennsylvania Herpetological Education and Resource Program for helping me identify this immature Eastern Rat Snake. (I almost typed Eastern Rat Snack…actually, s/he’s welcome to snack on the mole that was out feeding under the bird feeder yesterday.) “Immature” at 4 feet — geez — seems they can reach over 100 inches and are the largest snakes in PA!

While in theory I’m glad this guy/gal is comfortable in our little piece of suburbia (neighbor Chris was thrilled and sorry she missed the excitement), it does make me determined to pull my feet up under me when I sit on the porch at night.

Always carry a flagon of whiskey in case of snakebite
and furthermore always carry a small snake.
~ W.C. Fields

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