Black snake in a Broadkill swamp maple

September 12, 2011
Black snakes climb trees, twisting and wrapping, inching their way along branches, all very quietly. BY DENNIS FORNEY

Many people have said they've seen more snakes this year than they remember seeing in previous years.  I don't know what that's all about but on Saturday afternoon, a good-sized black snake was making its way through the branches of a swamp maple near the Broadkill River.  I have no idea how a snake this large - at least a six-footer - can climb on a thin branch like this.  His head is at the upper left of the photo and his tail is at the thin end of the branch to the right. He (or she) also appeared to be well fed with several lumps in his long stomach which I took to be mice. That might also explain the snake's sluggishness.

Another man looking at the snake said he thought it was a black rat snake.  "They have white markings on the underside of their bodies," he said.  "There's also a black racer snake which doesn't have white on its undersides."

Add one more to a snakey kind of year.  They're definitely survivors.