Virginia valeriae elegans
Saturday, March 25, 2017
Devil’s Den State Park, Arkansas
It was a damp, cool, drizzly morning. I hiked the Devil’s Den Trail with Joshua, Sarah, Keren, Caleb, Karen, and Olive. We climbed back up to our cabin on the stone stairs and came out on the blacktop drive of one of the cabins. I spotted what I thought was a large nightcrawler lying motionlessly on the pavement. A closer look revealed it to be a snake. I nudged it with my finger and it coiled and acted threatening, although it was too small to cause any damage even if it had been poisonous. I used a stick to guide it off the drive where it disappeared beneath the oak leaves.
I identified it from the Internet based on the two scales on the tip of its nose and the two scales visible behind its eye on the left side of its head in the photo. These marks distinguished it from the Rough Earthsnake.