Back at home in the city, I found this fellow while watering the garden.
He was all tangled up in the bird netting. When I pulled the lemon balm back to find his head, it looked very triangular to me. Not a good thing. So went & grabbed my snake boots & Opa's machete that I inherited, & proceeded to chop his head off. Then I gave him Jon's prayer to help him cross over in peace. (Jon gives a prayer over each animal he kills on a hunt) Once the head was off, I proceeded to cut around the bird netting to get him out of the garden.
When I got to a point where I could inspect...he was indeed a rat snake. I feel bad for killing a good snake, but I don't think I could have safely cut him out of that netting anyway where I didn't either hurt him or myself in the process. When I got him laid out on the table, he had jammed himself all up in that netting. I'm pretty sure he'd been there a while too because I thought I heard something hiss at me last night when I was messing around in the garden in the dark.
I tried to stretch him out, but he kept curling on me when I'd go to grab my phone for a pic. Fully stretched & unheaded he was just over 48", so with a head he was easily 50" long & about 1.5" girth. A healthy boy. (figure of speech... don't know how you actually tell the difference).
(The right tool gets the job done!)
Earlier in the year (around February I think), I released what I thought was a baby garden snake into the garden... guess that wasn't a garden snake!
Note #1: Baby rat snakes are light tan with no markings
Note #2: They move opposite of the head direction, so if he's moving one way - look for the head on the opposite end!
Note #3: Touching them on the rear end will make them wiggle & move more! I learned that one when I was trying to stretch the headless body out for a measurement