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River snake in West Roxbury

Water snake at Millennium Park

You never know what'll slither into the Charles River when you're just standing there, where Sawmill Brook enters the river at Millennium Park, looking at the little fish swimming by the shore. It was like 18 to 24 inches long.

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Comments

"Adorable!"

I don't think they're going to hurt anyone, unless you mess with their businesss. We only have two common venomous snakes in MA; both are relegated to the Western part of the state and are considered rare to endangered.

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We only have two common venomous snakes in MA; both are relegated to the Western part of the state

Are the Blue Hills in the western part of the state? There are rattlesnakes there.

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One of the reasons the rattlesnake 'don't tread on me' was created by the colonists and patriots.

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Habitat in NE has changed vastly since colonist days. Before the colonists, New England had a lot of meadows and agricultural fields due to the Native Americans; when they were largely killed off by disease and warfare, that reverted to woodland. The European settlers then made their own fields (pig and sheep farms, cropland). Since then, there's been more reversion to woodland (and meadow) thanks to conservation efforts, but also a huge amount of development.

I have no idea what each of those stages did to the rattlesnake population. Each of those disruptions could have caused a boom or bust in the population, even a temporary one, so the colonists could have been *very* familiar with rattlesnakes due to e.g. a temporary rat population explosion caused by something else, or a loss of predators, and subsequent changes could have entirely wiped out the rattlers in this area.

(Also, it's not like the northern and southern colonists didn't talk to each other, and now that I look it up, the Gadsden Flag was made by someone from South Carolina so...)

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to a point. They're found in all of the New England States except in Maine, where the weather is too cold, climatewise, for rattlesnakes to exist.

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Rarely Occurring. Relocated. Endangered. Oh, and the article dates from a few years ago.

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None of those words mean absent, or relegated to some distant area, which is what you explicitly claimed. Here's the last sentence of the article:

Wildlife officials say they have been reported in Berkshire County, the Connecticut River Valley and the Boston area.

Let's leave the goalposts where you put them originally, OK?

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I had no idea, thanks for the correction to "common knowledge"!

Timber rattlers are neat snakes. They're so chunky!

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Could you kindly point the way to the Island of Sssssssnakesssss? I'm headed there for vacation.

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Andrea Howlett, who knows about these things, IDs the snake as a northern water snake:

They are pretty common in the state and harmless!

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Ahem...not necessarily true! Water moccasins can kill! They're deadly poisonous.

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It's a distinct species, and Moccasins aren't in it.

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There are no water moccasins (in the wild) north of Virginia.

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Water moccasins don't exist north of Virginia. The Northern Water Snake is not venomous, but they have a reputation for being bitey if you attempt to pick them up, and said bites can be painful and bleed a lot due to natural blood thinners in snake saliva.

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Ahem...not necessarily true! Water moccasins can kill! They're deadly poisonous.

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Water moccasins, aka cottonmouths (Agkistrodon piscivorus), are not the same thing as water snakes (Nerodia sipedon). Many people in the northeast mistakenly identify water snakes as "moccasins", but it simple is not true.

http://www.masnakes.org/myths/commyths.html

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Harmless for me, if you ignore the near heart attack I get discovering one in the yard.

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Thanks for the shout-out, Adam!

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