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Another Large Gray Rat Snake at Radnor Lake

August 30th, 2009 · 9 Comments · Radnor Lake, snakes

gray rat snake at Nashville's Radnor Lake
Sunday, August 30, 2009
My friend Steve D. and I had a fantastic hiking experience at Radnor Lake last month – on July 26, to be exact. We had two wonderful sightings in my view, or one great sighting and one scary experience in HIS view. You see, good ol’ Steve is not a snake fan. Not in the least.

NOTE: All photos by Stephen Frasier of Frasier Photos – Nashville, Tennessee

If you have read the most popular post on this blog so far – the entry entitled Grey Rat Snake: Prime Specimen at Radnor Lake (posted on June 4, 2008),
then you already know that I am a major snake aficionado. In addition to another gray rat snake encounter, we came upon a Red Tailed Hawk that for some reason was hanging out on or near the ground — even as we got very close to it. At first, we thought the red-tailed hawk might be injured or sick; after all, it is very rare to be able to approach such a hawk in the wild as we were able to that day. (I am going to post the Red Tailed Hawk story and images in a separate post.)

Both of these run-ins occurred on the South Cove Loop trail, up on top of the ridge.

gray rat snake at Nashville's Radnor Lake

Steve was leading the way when he yelled and ran back behind me. That was enough to let me know that he had seen a snake. I looked ahead, and sure enough, stretched across the trail and slowly making its way across was a very large gray rat snake, about the same size as the one noted in the post entitled Grey Rat Snake: Prime Specimen at Radnor Lake, but not of the same temperament.

While the previous snake had been surprisingly docile – acting more like a King Snake than a Rat Snake – this one acted like the rat snake he was. He hissed and came close to biting me, and he rattled his tail against the dry leaves for long while, trying to make us think it had a rattle.

All of the pictures of this Gray Rat Snake turned out wonderfully – except for those taken by my snake-hating friend. For some reason, those turned out terribly. He must have done this on purpose!

If you find Grey Rat Snakes to be fascinating or interesting at all, then you will like these photos. I hope you enjoy them! Feel free to leave comments!

gray rat snake at Nashville's Radnor Lake

gray rat snake at Nashville's Radnor Lake

gray rat snake at Nashville's Radnor Lake

gray rat snake at Nashville's Radnor Lake

gray rat snake at Nashville's Radnor Lake

gray rat snake at Nashville's Radnor Lake

gray rat snake at Nashville's Radnor Lake

gray rat snake at Nashville's Radnor Lake

gray rat snake at Nashville's Radnor Lake

gray rat snake at Nashville's Radnor Lake

gray rat snake at Nashville's Radnor Lake

gray rat snake at Nashville's Radnor Lake

gray rat snake at Nashville's Radnor Lake

gray rat snake at Nashville's Radnor Lake

gray rat snake up close at Nashville's Radnor Lake

gray rat snake up close at Nashville's Radnor Lake

gray rat snake up close at Nashville's Radnor Lake

stephen catching gray rat snake at Nashville's Radnor Lake

stephen catching gray rat snake at Nashville's Radnor Lake

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9 Comments so far ↓

  • Daniel

    Grrrr 🙁

    I’ve yet to see any snakes on any of my hikes so far. I did however get to see my very first Buck and came within touching distance of a doe.

    Great pics, looking forward to future updates.

  • Rob

    Very nice rat snake sighting! The pattern is very nice, especially for such a mature snake! It’s so interesting how Rat snake’s patterns vary so greatly over their range, that snake almost looks more like a Texas Rat Snake than a Gray or Black Rat Snake! I’ve caught individuals in Kentucky with little stipples of bright orange mixed in with the usual dark pigment.
    I’ve yet to see one that large at Radnor Lake. Very fortunate (and observant) of you.

  • Rob

    The pattern is very nice, especially for such a mature snake! It’s so interesting how Rat snake’s patterns vary so greatly over their range, that snake almost looks more like a Texas Rat Snake than a Gray or Black Rat Snake! I’ve caught individuals in Kentucky with little stipples of bright orange mixed in with the usual dark pigment.
    I’ve yet to see one that large at Radnor Lake. Very fortunate (and observant) of you.

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  • Marla Sanderson

    FYI. Today, we just caught 2 large snakes that were mating on our deck. After much heart pounding, sweating and chill bumps, my husband managed to get them in a bucket with a lid. We are not outdoorsy people so it was quite a fright. But interesting. Our neighbors who are big snake lovers will take them off our hands tomorrow. I hope they take them to Radnor so they can meet up with some friends.

  • debword

    We found what looks like a gray rat snake in suburban Brentwood – at least it seems to match the pictures. We’re not entirely comfortable around snakes (don’t know much about them), but we moved it back into big field away from our house. Wasn’t sure what to do. This is the second snake we’ve seen in our yard this spring, and really the first snakes we’ve had in the 11 years we’ve been at this house. Not sure what’s up with that.

  • Stephen

    That is interesting… not sure either, except for the fact that we are taking up more and more of their habitat and they have fewer places to go with every passing year. So glad you moved it and did not kill it! A gold star for you, Deb! 🙂 The vast majority of snakes seen around here are non-poisonous… and most of the snakes folks claim to be copperheads and water moccasins really aren’t. But that’s not to say they’re not around!

  • manofdog

    What’s really interesting is that most people aren’t aware that garter snakes are venomous,of course a mild venom.I doubted this until I watched my granddaughters pet garter snake eat a large salamander,never constricting it,only biting and making several chewing bites until the salamander settled down enough to be eaten.Anyway I caught a nice big grey yesterday.I wanted my granddaughter to see him and be a part of letting him go free.He measures right at 6ft 6inches and weighs about 3 1/2 pounds.Bigger than most I’ve seen or handled.We will take a few pics and then return him back to his area.BTW I live in north west Wilson co.

  • Karl Werner

    I found a ‘Juvenile rat snake’ in our garage & Videoed it – I think it lives under our concrete driveway – A very handsome snake that took so long to identify even though it is North Carolina’s most abundant (seen) snake ! -, in Western North Carolina – Leicester. Pronounced “Lester”