A shiver ran up my spine. Unlike what I would have done some years ago, I stopped and observed his slow progress until he disappeared under the rhododendron bushes.
My thoughts were, Oh, I hope this is not a copperhead. The whole body is a bit copper-colored, but his head is not shaped like a pit viper. I don't think it is.
He has no rings on his slender body, just a blotched reddish-gray pattern. Should I kill it? I don't want to kill it if it isn't poisonous. Oh, well, by the time I find something to kill it with, it will be gone. It might be a king snake but I think a king snake is black. I am going to have to be careful walking in my yard!
Even if it isn't a poisonous snake, it can make me hurt myself if it surprises me in a place I don't expect to see it.
After it cleared the path, I hurried inside and went to my computer. After lots of searching through snakes in North Carolina, I am sure it is a mole kingsnake. It looks just like the one in the photo on this page. I have learned something new. I had never known there was a mole kingsnake. The info on this guy says he is often killed because we humans confuse him with a copperhead. I certainly did at first. I'm glad he is not a copperhead. I am deathly afraid of them, and would not want one in my yard.
The mole kingsnake eats rodents, lizards, birds, and hides out during the day, usually. So, I might not see him again even though he lives here. I would be happy if he stayed well hidden. My mother instilled an irrational fear of snakes in me. I just can't help but want to flee when I see one.