Creepy! While writing an E-mail last evening I heard the slightest rustle of a paper bag to my left. Suddenly it dawned on me, what would make that kind of a noise about ten feet to my left? I glanced in that direction, began to get up to investigate and there he was, a big black snake! Inside! Living in the woods I am use to being mindful of snakes when I’m outside but inside? So, how did he get in and how long has he been a visitor? Eeks. We kindly released him outdoors where he slithered beneath the landscaped stone wall. See you next Spring, OUTSIDE!

The Black Rat Snake (Elaphe obsoleta) — also called pilot black snake or simply black snake[1] — is a non-venomous colubrid species found in North America. It prefers heavily wooded areas and is known for having excellent climbing ability, including the ability to climb the trunk of large mature trees without the aid of branches. No subspecies are currently recognized.

Length may range from 42 to 72 inches, making the black rat snake one of Missouri’s largest snakes. This species is well-known for its ability to climb trees. They are found statewide and live in a variety of habitats, including rocky wooded hillsides, wooded riverbanks, in or near farm buildings and in large brush piles.