I wasn’t sure about this snake. It didn’t run away from me, which made me nervous. It was in the grass, so I thought it had hour-glass-like bands like a copper-head, but eventually I realized they were just blotches. Also, it seemed way too huge to be a pit-viper. With the binoculars, I tried to check-out its pupils, but I cdn’t tell whether they were round or vertical. Using National Audubon’s Reptile and Amphibian book and Google images, I was able to verify that it was a gray rat-snake (harmless to humans). I’m really glad I didn’t kill it, especially after reading www.savelakemartin.com/lakesnakes.htm. Both their picture and the National Audubon’s picture were the spitting image of it. My philosophy is not to kill a snake unless it’s dangerous to people and it’s in a place where people usually spend time; too many people have the idea that every snake should be killed, but actually many snakes are beneficial to humans (ie, eat rats or eat other snakes that are dangerous to humans).
All the same, I don’t think I’ll go walking barefoot through the jasmine!