When I first saw this Rat Snake it was on the ground, just a few yard ahead of me on a small, little used, lakeside trail. I turned, took a few steps back, dropped my backback and got my camera ready. When I turned back around it was gone. In a matter of seconds it had disappeared into the forest. “Oh well,” I thought, “that’s how they survive.”
I remained in the area to photograph some other things. When I was getting ready to leave I noticed the snake had climbed a nearby tree and was just relaxing there. Of course I approached, camera in hand. As I got close, the snake showed its typical Rat Snake attitude by coming straight toward me. When it was about 3 or 4 yards away, it struck this classic “don’t come any closer” pose. It remained that way until I backed off. At which point it turned around and went the other way. Rat Snakes are not venomous but they definitely show no fear. Every time I’ve encountered one up close, they have come toward me, almost daring me to see how close they will get.