The Black Rat Snake is common in Maryland. You may be startled by them
sunning themselves in the middle of the towpath. An adult snake is anywhere
between 4 and 7 feet. You might see their shed skins hanging from trees.
Although they're big snakes, they're harmless. They're non-poisonous and much
prefer rodents, birds and eggs to you.
One unusual characteristic of the Black Rat Snake is that when it senses danger, it
freezes and takes on a rippled posture. This photo clearly shows that posture,
it must have thought I was some sort of threat to it. Like most big and scary
animals, they're usually more afraid of you than you are of it!