The snakes in my vicinity are a gregarious group, and luckily, although there are a number of poisonous snakes listed as possibly present in my area, in ten years of living here I've only seen (or heard) the non-poisonous ones. I worry about rattlesnakes alot, though, particularly since a great local reference, Amphibians and Reptiles in Kansas by Joseph T. Collins, makes a point of saying that "No one should rely on any rattlesnake to warn them by rattling, since many rattlesnakes never rattle until stepped on or otherwise molested." Thanks a whole lot, Joseph, I've slept well ever since hearing that information.
The beauty pictured at the right is a Common Garter Snake that I found when I was moving a rose bush. This cheeky fellow was biting at my shovel as I attempted to get underneath the bush. He later apologized and became a frequent bystander as I did other gardening chores, slithering up to give his unsolicited opinion as I watered, mulched, or weeded. I finally learned not to jump in panic if I saw orange and movement in my peripheral vision and the snake did his part by never again biting at my shovel. I believe the same snake lived in the garden for three years, although I don't know where he takes his winter vacations to, but this season I've only seen offspring, so the patriarch may have moved on where his opinions were more valued.