I would guess that Pat is a large female but she is an ornery type and I’m not up to the task of handling her. She frequents our generator bin which gets nice and “sauna-like” in the sunshine. I have photos from 2009 taken in the generator bin. Since Milk Snakes can live for 21 years, Pat may have been around for quite a while. She is approaching the maximum length of 36″ this is why I believe we are visited by the same creature. It is in the interest of not injuring her, as well as the avoiding of a bite, that we open the bin expecting her to be there.
Milk snakes lay eggs during June. I suspect we’ll see some smaller ones soon.
Milk snakes eat grasshoppers, mice and frogs. My frogs are probably in some danger but I believe Pat’s station in the generator bin near our wood pile, keeps her filled with mice. I’ve never spotted her near our pond.
They also eat venomous snakes like copperheads. I have not seen a copperhead. Just in case, I’m giving her a shout out. “Keep up the good work Pat!”
Pat is welcome to stay with us. Our generator bin keeps her warm and safe while she digests her food and sheds her skin. She thinks she is a big tough rattlesnake though. If she is studied too long she twitches her tail and acts like she’s going to strike so we give her her space and hope she keeps the mice away from our camp.