Life, Faith and Urban Farming

The life and happenings of an unconventional pastor and urban farmer living in the city with a family of five.

Sunday, May 02, 2010

Work at the Farm While We're in the Hospital, What Is That?!?!

Thanks to everybody who worked at the farm yesterday and pulled together a great work day with a bunch of different folks from a bunch of different churches. Thanks especially to Michael Stanton who allowed his intern Mike Spicuzza to lead things at the home renovation work they are doing in Garfield so that he could take my place at Garfield Farm.

Lee and Nick lead things out at the Odessa Garden of Garfield Farm. Seems things went very well until they found this critter. My first thought is that this snake that they found in the wood pile in the garden is someone's pet that got away. Our garden is in a small wooded area in a populated city neighborhood. I figure it got out of an aquarium and found a space where mice and other critters live. Lee though made me aware that it's colorings look an awful lot like the most common venomous snake in Pennsylvania, a Copperhead. I've seen Eastern Rattlers twice in the wild, once in the Laurel Highlands of PA and once in the mountains of Virginia. I've never seen a Copperhead.

Can anybody help us out with the ID of this snake?


The Tiny Homestead said...

I'm voting rat snake. They can have basically the same markings, but rat snakes are more common and non-venomous.

A copperhead will have a triangular head and a thinner neck. The rat snake will have an oval head.

Also, if you can get a close look, the copperhead's pupils will be slits. The rat snack will have round pupils.

I've seen a copperhead once (Indiana County) when my friend's dog stepped on it and was bitten.

Meghan said...

A snake in the garden? I think we've all heard this story before...

Could it be...SATAN?

Vince said...

Based on the snake's patterns (we never did see the snake's head), it looks to be an Eastern Milk Snake. See the pictures on this page (

And, here's more ( with the important information:

"The Eastern Milk Snake looks something like the venomous Northern Copperhead Snake. They can be separated by the arrangement of the dark color along the back of the snake. Copperhead Snakes have dark bands of color that cross the back, rather than individual spots or blotches."

Good luck with the blog! I just added it to my Google Reader feed, and hope to find more opportunities to come out to help on Saturdays.

Josh Hall said...

a (northern) pine snake perhaps...