See it larger.
This snake was hanging out this afternoon in Millennium Park in West Roxbury, near where Sawmill Brook enters the Charles.
Looks scary, but just a friendly harmless milksnake https://www.wildlife.state.nh.us/wildlife/profiles/milk-snake.html.
Milk snakes have smooth scales but this snake's scales are keeled (kind of a ridge running down the middle of each one). Also much more likely to encounter a water snake near water like at that location. Milk snakes prefer drier upland areas.
At least once a year we get some report like this:
[picture of giant ass milksnake or eastern ratsnake]
Is this your pet? I found it in my driveway. If your snake escaped please come pick it up!
[giant snek as native snek education event ensues]
It looks like a water snake to me - heavier in the body, keeled scales, bolder stripes along the mouth, no stripe through the eye, and slightly different "saddle" spotting. Either way, certainly harmless.
Snakes are awesome and that's a nice photo. Consider yourself lucky for seeing one.
They pose no harm to humans in New England*, they are native, they eat mice and rats, and they are interesting to look at. They are great critters.
Unless you're a vole, enjoy native snakes.
*Yes, there is a very small population of Timber Rattlers in Western Mass. You won't find one in the Commonwealth and you won't be bit unless you make that your lifelong goal.
Unsure if the variety matters? To be clear, I agree with your overall sentiment in spite of all the fevered talk of water moccasins at the ponds when I was a kid.
It's possible there are a few Timber Rattlers in the Blue Hills but it's estimated there's only 200-300 in the state total with a vast majority in the woodlands further West.
To be scared of getting bit by a Timber Rattlesnake in the Blue Hills is akin to being scared of being hit by a car being driven by Mike Dukakis. I mean, it's possible.
No where near Great Blue Hill.
The cluster is north of 128, east of Randolph Avenue, west of Wood Road behind where Haemonetics used to be.
You are not going to get bit by the GBH transmission tower.
Pretty sure we found one at the property line of Granite Links several years back
I heard a story of some nutty guy who had made it his life's work (or at least a significant hobby) to eradicate rattlesnakes from the Blue Hills, and who would hunt them down and kill them, regulations be damned. Anyone else know of this?
Western Mass is the Commonwealth.
Are you missing your sippy cup?
Nope, they just replied to the wrong comment. Anon is responding to BostonDog's first comment above:
My kid was at the Blue Hills nature camp two years back and they saw one on a trail up there (confirmed by the counselors). This is over above Chickatawbut Rd.
On the north side or the south side of the road?
I used to hike the north side a lot - it was great, almost never anybody there. Plus I found a blueberry-huckleberry patch.
So south of Chickatawbut, north of I-93
Nobody was clutching any pearls, so why do you immediately take that attitude?
I was playfully responding to the playful story headline.
I thought it was a small population of eastern copperheads in the Blue Hill area.
I doubt any timber rattlers as you do.
I was delighted to see a northern watersnake last month. Anything other than a ribbon or garter snake is exotic for me.
There are small populations of both copperheads and timber rattlers in the Blue Hills reservation.
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