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Posted by Chris Smith on May 09, 2000 at 23:04:07:
In Reply to: Can someone identify this snake? posted by Kathy Buratti on May 05, 2000 at 15:44:59:
Can someone recommend a book or other reference to help identify Austin area snakes? I know very little about snakes, and can only identify garter and grass snakes, maybe copperheads. Never seen a rattler in the wild, and can't tell a cottonmouth from any other water snake. Tonight I saw a snake come out of and back into my small backyard pond. Dark color, brownish gray. Darker back and very evenly spaced partial dark bands running from the belly halfway to the back. Not as dark as water snakes I've seen on local lakes. This one was 2 feet long and as thick as a shovel handle. Saw a smaller, similar snake earlier in the week. I'm guessing rat snake by some photos on the web, but those had more random markings. Our yard backs up to Walnut Creek, so we get lots of snakes and other critters. I've seen a snake either in the front yard or back nearly every day this week! I'd like to learn more about which ones I should worry about. My 6-year old loves playing with frogs by the pond, I'd hate for him to run into that snake. I don't want to just randomly kill every one I see. For some reason there's a bumper crop this year.