Throughout history snakes have been a symbol of medicine, love, rebirth, wisdom, good, and evil. Snakes will seek shelter in any place that is hidden. They burrow under rocks, logs, tree stumps, and bushes. Snakes are frightened of humans and are not prone to strike unless they feel threatened. It’s best to keep a good distance, and they will mosey on by.
Here are 5 fascinating snakes that I encountered in the woods of South Carolina.
1) Corn Snake
Corn snakes are generally docile and non-venomous. The corn snake has colors of orange and brown with patterns that resemble a ‘corn on the cob.’
It is easy to confuse corn snakes with venomous copperhead snakes. Corn snakes have brighter colors and are of a more slender build than copperheads. Corn snakes are also an excellent choice as a pet snake according to experts. Read more here.
Copperheads are the most common venomous snake you will find in South Carolina. They are reddish-brown, long, and wide snakes with a diamond shape pattern on their backs. Copperheads try to avoid humans and often hide under fallen leaves. Most copperhead bites occur when an unsuspecting human steps on the snake. Read more about the copperhead here.
3) King Snake
The king snake has a black body with yellow patterns. King snakes dislike copperheads. King snakes do not have venom. They kill their prey by wrapping themselves around the prey and squeezing it to death.
4) Black Snake
Black snakes are not venomous nor aggressive. If they feel threatened, they may bite as a last resort. The black snake can reach up to 8 feet in length. Black snakes eat large amounts of rats and mice. They are especially handy to have around when you are growing a vegetable garden.
5) Eastern Milk Snake
Historically, the eastern milk snake got it’s name from a silly belief that it would drink milk from a cow. The eastern milk snake is not venomous. People confuse the eastern milk snake with the venomous coral snake. Experts have suggested learning the following rhyme in order to differentiate the two snakes: “Red on yellow kills a fellow. Red on black, friend of Jack.”
According to the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources, there are 38 different species of snakes in South Carolina.
You can read more here.
Many people have a natural fear of snakes including, myself. Experts have studied this reaction and have discovered that we usually are not born with the fear of snakes. The fear of snakes is a learned behavior.
Read more here.
After encountering many snakes here in the woods, my fear of snakes has diminished, and I have developed a great admiration and respect for these magical creatures.