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user-inactivated  ·  106 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: I found an arrowhead and my head is full of shit.

    What's up with the snake? I can't tell the exact scale of it from the picture. It doesn't appear to be a garter or copper belly. Maybe a brown snake? I checked Wikipedia's List of reptiles of Michigan, but I'm still not sure.

Possibly a common water snake. Only guessing, cause I'm not a herpetologist, and the only thing I'm really going with is that it looks like it's on the beach. That said, watersnakes tend to have more "rounded" heads and the one in mk's picture looks more angular, but that could be a trick of both the angle he's taking the photo from as well as the two dark patches behind where the ears would be if snakes have ears.

SIDE COMMENT

Wanna know the easiest way to figure out if you're looking at a snake or a legless lizard? Look for ears and eyelids. Legless lizards have both. Snakes have neither.

Back to the snake quest

I don't know if mk was in Mainland Michigan or the Upper Peninsula, and I hate it when people are all like "RANGE MAPS!" as the only reason for justifying an ID, but I think since Eastern Copperheads aren't commonly found that far north, odds are it's probably not that. It looks pretty big and stout, so I think that possibly rules out both The Eastern Garter Snake as well as anything in the Brownsnake family. Both sets of snakes are much smaller and slender.

So . . . I don't know definitely what it is, but I can kinda guess about what it probably isn't. Snakes are hard for me to ID anyway, because there can be a ton of polymorphic variation in a single species, so where with birds you have a pretty good idea with color patterns, that's not a lot of help with snakes. I vote watersnake, of which I'm a huge fan of, because they're gorgeous and harmless and just all around wonderful little guys and galls who just want to exist and have you be okay with that.