I hate snakes. Well, ok, let's say this...I'm AFRAID of snakes. I really can't hate them since they actually do a LOT of good.

My sister has no problem with them because she is absolutely petrified of mice and rats and vermin like that. And since snakes gobble critters like that up with abandon, she has a real "the enemy of my enemy is my friend" thing going with them.

When she was a kid, she was always first in line at the museum to let the late Joe Ford wrap a snake around her neck or arm.

Perish the thought.

Anyway, I don't like them even while realizing the majority of snakes native to Kentucky are non-venomous. I still don't want fangs sinking into my flesh, though.

I did a Google search on "Kentucky snakes" and the first thing that popped up was a guide called  Kentucky Snakes, published by the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife in 2007. I have to wonder why I'm just now seeing this 14 years after its publication.

Nonetheless, this is a valuable tool for anyone who'd like to know if that snake they saw in the garage can do them serious harm or if they should just leave it alone and let it get rid of the mice.

There are some beautiful snakes in Kentucky but it's funny; the more beautiful they are, the creepier they seem.

When you check out the guide, you'll learn--if you didn't already know--that there are only four venomous snakes indigenous to Kentucky and an ENORMOUS number of non-poisonous ones.

I have to admit to being very partial to the Western Mud Snake, but only if I don't see one in person. And we have them around here, so that's possible.

I also learned that vertical eyes mean "venomous" and round eyes mean "non-venomous."

That's good to know...but since I'm never, ever getting that close to one, it might not matter.

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Snakes in Kentucky