This is quite possibly the biggest black rate snake I have ever seen. We didn't want to keep on driving because we were afraid it would try and cross the road and end up among the flattest snakes I have ever seen. Eventually we got it to turn around and head back into the weeds so we could pass.
The road was on a farm. A little later we met the farmer. I mentioned I had seen a huge black rat snake. A concerned look came over his face. "You didn't hurt it, did you?"
"No," I assured him
"Good," he said, relieved. "That snake's been here a long time. Helps keep the mice and rat numbers down. He's just like a big pet. We call him Charlie."
"For a moment," I ventured, "I thought about catching him. We have a Vacation Bible School starting next week and it's called Weird Animals. I figured he'd qualify."
The farmer thought about that a moment. "I reckon he would," he agreed.
Did I mention that on this farm there was also a limestone spring creek? That means cold, cold water, even in summer. Limestone also helps create the perfect alkalinity levels for massive aquatic insect populations. And that means... Big Trout.