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Thread: Had a surprise in the shop this morning.

  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2013
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    Liberty, SC
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    Had a surprise in the shop this morning.

    I had been working in the shop this morning fettling an old craftsman #5. Someone had started making it into a scrub plane. After lacquering the tote and knob, I went in to take a break. Upon returning, as I opened the door, there was movement to my right on the counter. I eased my hand over to the light switch, turned it on and, was face to face with a black racer snake. It went one way and I backed off to give it all the room it needed. I do have a mouse in the shop that has proven hard to catch, so I decided to let Blackie Jr. take care of my problem. Can you folks work with a black snake in your shop? I named it Blackie Jr after another black racer we had it other storage building. That snake was killed in the road in front our house. No mice sounds good to me as long as it doesn't fall off a shelf on me.
    You never get the answer if you don't ask the question.

    Joe

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
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    Texas Hill Country
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    If you can handle those startling moments like you experienced already today I'd say let it help you keep your shop free of mice. Kudos to you Joe! Too many people just kill any snake no matter how helpful they are.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2019
    Location
    Durham, NC
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    16
    After a copperhead bit both our dogs I've been less tolerant of them. Other snakes are okay, though I've been more careful to clear out the undergrowth since then so our yard is not very snake-friendly.

  4. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by Mike Manning View Post
    If you can handle those startling moments like you experienced already today I'd say let it help you keep your shop free of mice. Kudos to you Joe! Too many people just kill any snake no matter how helpful they are.
    We used to have a Texas rat snake living in our garden shed. We named him Aloysius. He liked to eat rats and mice. Every now and then (i.e. on average once a month) we'd get a furious banging on our front door from a passing motorist saying, oh my gawd, you've got a giant ten foot snake headed in your general direction! Always entertaining.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
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    Texas Hill Country
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    Did it look anything like this one?

    IMG_6260.jpgIMG_6265.jpg

    I saw this big old Coachwhip while hiking in Saguaro National Park back in 2013. I spotted it paralleling the trail about the same time I guess it spotted me because it started moving fast. I chased it about 15 yards while staying on the trail until I saw it go into this scrub bush. There was a hole in that bush by the trail so I bent down to see if I could see the snake and that first pic is exactly what I saw - it's head lifted and looking me straight in the eyes. Wild feeling that was! It was a pretty good size snake. I'd say easily between 5'-6'. After at least 5 minutes standing there taking pics and even showing it off to some passing hikers I decided to see if I could get a pic from the side. When I walked around to the side the snake hadn't moved a muscle. Left it like that. I've seen variations in Southern Arizona of this same Coachwhip that are red, pink and cream colored. They are beautiful!

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
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    Longview WA
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    So far it seems all we have up here is garter snakes. They are too small to eat mice. We did catch a lizard in one of the pots in the greenhouse a few days ago. My wife grabbed it and let it go under one of the tables to eat bugs.

    jtk
    "A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty."
    - Sir Winston Churchill (1874-1965)

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Location
    East Virginia
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    I had a similar experience in my barn shop. Caught movement one day out of the corner of my eye, so I turned, and there, on the lintel above the door, about 10" above eye level and about 18" away, was about a 5' black rat snake staring me in the face.

    I've also found their shed skins in the attic and once saw one disappearing into a hole in the wall in the utility room...pretty hard to keep them out of these old buildings. Hopefully they keep the mouse and roof rat populations under control. (Also found a pretty big snapping turtle crawling out from under the house one year during nesting season...)

  8. #8
    I live in Tucson, and we have them here. Aptly named - pretty, and amazingly fast. I don't like snakes, but they're the good guys. Leave him alone, and your mouse problem will gradually end.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Feb 2014
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    Lake Gaston, Henrico, NC
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    I met a big Rat Snake coming down the stairs, as I was going up, in an old, abandoned at the time, house I had just started working on. We passed each other, and didn't say anything. He didn't care a bit. Rat Snakes are very docile, while Black Racers can be pretty feisty.
    Last edited by Tom M King; 04-10-2019 at 7:49 PM.

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by Don Peters View Post
    I live in Tucson, and we have them here. Aptly named - pretty, and amazingly fast. I don't like snakes, but they're the good guys. Leave him alone, and your mouse problem will gradually end.
    This time of year it isn't rat or black snakes. it the diamond backs under the benches. So far this year it hasn't been a problem, maybe because we have the pack rats under control.

    ken

  11. #11
    Join Date
    May 2013
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    This snake is a young racer as it still has it's diamond stripes. Tom, it wasn't to feisty. It just wanted me to leave it alone. It went right to where, I think, the mouse is living.
    One good thing about it, my wife and pastor will not go in the shop. Now that's privacy.

    Mike, It is definitely a black racer, because it has the white under it's head and throat.

    It's about three feet long now. I will try to let you know about the growth progress, if it stays around.
    You never get the answer if you don't ask the question.

    Joe

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
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    Jacksonville, FL
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mike Manning View Post
    Kudos to you Joe! Too many people just kill any snake no matter how helpful they are.
    If its poisonous it dies. All other snakes I leave alone. We have two dogs in the back yard so I have a zero tolerance for poisonous snakes. But we live on a small lake and in 18 years here I've only seen 2 or 3 snakes that weren't black racers.
    Marshall
    ---------------------------
    A Stickley fan boy.

  13. #13
    I'll pass on snakes, thanks. I cant tell the good ones from the bad ones so I avoid all of them.

    Had an old friend from out west tell me his small daughter was in the fenced back yard with their beagle one day. Suddenly that beagle started barking like crazy at his daughter, kept looking at her and then back over his shoulder at something. Turned out there was a rattlesnake. That "pup" put himself between the snake and that child, barking and barking, trying to drive her further away from that snake.

    Gotta love dogs.
    "All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing."
    - Sir Edmund Burke

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Cary, NC
    Posts
    500
    I have a black snake that I have named Roscoe living in my stable. The last shed skin that I found last year was almost 7 ft long. I also have a copperhead living in my tractor shed. I shuffle my feet a lot to let him know when i get my tractor out.
    Joe

  15. #15
    Join Date
    May 2013
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    Liberty, SC
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    I'm with Marshall on the poisonous snakes.
    Joe B., I'm wondering how the copperhead has survived with the black snake around.
    Copperheads usually avoid any black snake, that is, if they want to remain alive.
    You never get the answer if you don't ask the question.

    Joe

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