I was going to play fetch with the dogs this morning, because with all the rain, they've been cooped up a lot. We were making our way to the usual play area when I saw a snake just off the path, in one of the flower beds! Eek!
Fortunately, I could tell right away that it was a kingsnake (non-venomous)-- and even more luckily, neither of the dogs had seen it, so I was able to convince them to go back inside right away. (I had to promise treats, because they were understandably reluctant to abandon the prospect of frisbees and balls. Trixie especially.)
After taking some photos and seeing that the snake was just sitting there, with no apparent desire to leave that spot, I decided to try to gently encourage it to move on. I got a long-handled shovel and very carefully "persuaded" by moving the shovel closer and lightly touching its tail. I definitely didn't want to hurt it (kingsnakes are beneficial), and I didn't even want to scare it too much ("Please stay in the area and eat all the bad snakes!"), but it would be best for all involved if it would take up residence outside the fenced yard-- or at least keep hidden away where the dogs won't find it and go into scary wolf mode.
The snake was stubborn, though. He(?) drew back into a defensive position and wiggled his tail like a rattlesnake. (I didn't know they did that!) Eventually, I gave up and walked the dogs on leashes, instead.
The last I saw of the snake (through the window), its tail was disappearing into the bed of Mexican petunia, which is along one side of our covered patio, right by our kitchen door. "Good" snake or not, that still gives me pause.
I wouldn't be surprised if it was all this rain that got him stirred up, so if you're in the area, keep your eyes open for snakes!