You never know what you are going to find in your backyard. An example of this is a snake Beverly Castleberry recently encountered a couple of weeks ago in her yard.
This snake was black and measured roughly three feet long. Although it looked like a black rat snake, the snake’s skin appeared to be braided. (Zoom in on the photo to see the kinks).
Soon after making her discovery, Beverly sent me a picture of this unusual snake. After examining the picture, I was certain I had never seen anything like it.
As it turned out, the snake was indeed a black rat snake. What made it appear so different is it was exhibiting a behavior called kinking. The black rat snake is one of several snakes that assume this bizarre posture. When threatened, rat snakes sometimes don this folded or braided pose as a form of camouflage. Supposedly, to a potential predator, a kinked snake looks like nothing more than a stick, and will pass on by without attacking the motionless reptile.
Thanks Beverly for sharing your experience and picture with other backyard wildlife enthusiasts.
When I was in college, Dr E. Provost told us that this kinked appearance in a rat snake indicated the snake was in a very healthy condition.
Thank you very much for you comment. I had never heard kinking was linked to health. Your comment prompted me to check with a herpetologist and a retired professor that specialized in herpetology. Neither one had ever heard that kinking was related to health. If you come across further information on this subject, or I uncover something new, I will let you know.