Note (September 26, 2011): I wrote this post several years ago and readers will sometimes email me asking me to identify snakes for them. I DON’T KNOW ANYTHING ABOUT SNAKES! That’s why I wrote this: because I found a helpful resource in the North Carolina Online Snake Identification System. Try that web site if you need help. I can’t help you identify a snake.
As my wife and I were leaving for church this morning, I happened to look down at the boxwoods in front of our porch. I noticed a small snake there that was about 18 inches long. In North Carolina, most people think every snake is a venomous Copperhead, so I knew that I was expected to shoot it–so I ran inside and got my camera.
I didn’t get a chance today to show my picture to Ron Cromer, my neighbor and friend that runs Snakes Alive, Inc.–an educational science program designed to give clear, concise insight into the lives, habits, and characteristics of reptiles, especially snakes.
To identify our little friend, I turned to the North Carolina Online Snake Identification System. On this web site, I entered all the information I knew about the snake: length, location, body form, pattern, time of day, etc., and it came back with information and pictures of snakes that met all the information I entered. It turns out it was just a Common Garter snake, which is a good snake to have around. If you live in North Carolina, and think that every snake you see is a Copperhead, you may want to bookmark this site.