The weather is starting to warm up and it's time to get outdoors! I love exploring the woods and taking the dog on hikes but remember we aren't alone out there. We love seeing a stream we hadn't discovered yet. Or a trail that leads to a spectacular view. One thing I don't want to see is a snake.

Dead or alive, I'm not thrilled to encounter a snake. Now, even if you see a dead ones you can't trust it and this is why. There is one kind of snake slithering around New York State that plays dead but is very much alive!

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The Eastern Hognose Snake, also known as the Puff Adder, can be found throughout  New York State. If you see one laying on it's back with it's mouth open and tongue hanging out the side, that snake is pretending to be dead! Why would they do this?

According to Reptilinks, the Eastern Hognose Snake uses the "play dead" technique as a form of protection. Similar to what an opossum does when it feels threatened. The Hognose will not only play dead but they will spray a nasty musk like odor to prevent predators from wanting to take a bite. Martin Martin

The Eastern Hognose Snake is a menacing looking reptile. At first sight you might freak a bit, I know I would. Truth is this snake is relatively harmless to humans. The Hognose has enough venom to kill their prey (mouse, frog) but not enough to cause harm to you and me.

If you were walking in the woods and saw this guy laying on it's back with tongue out you would assume it was dead. My advice? Just walk on by. Martin Martin

The Eastern Hognose Snake is one of 17 common snakes in New York State.

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