Eastern black-necked garter snake, Thamnophis cyrtopsis ocellatus
There are doubtless readers out there who share that family mythology that contains a subsection of stories beginning with “One day Grandpa/Meemaw/Aunt/Uncle/Cousin __________ was mowing/weeding/messing around out back of the shed/barn/outhouse/cistern….”
As those readers know, that prologue almost always signals that the tale is going to have a reptilian ending. Spiders and/or scorpions may play a supporting role. Depending where your location falls on the east/west axis, the reptile in question may be an alligator. (Sinfonian, I’m looking at you!)
Human injuries, envenomation and/or fatalities may be part of the plot but more often than not, it’s the reptile that comes out the worse for wear, if they survive at all.
Happily, in today’s story everyone survives, though the beautiful leopard frog I also disturbed while weed-eating around my air conditioning compressor may well be on this lovely serpent’s dinner menu.