The old saying is 'The only good snake is a dead snake,' and even farmers will tell you that's not true. There are a bunch of native snakes in Oklahoma that benefit more than just the natural ecology.

As the seasons warm up, you're starting to venture farther out into nature. That just makes the odds of you running across a snake even more probable. While it's best to just avoid these creatures altogether, it's better to know what you're encountering.

You might feel you know the difference, but a lot of people confuse the good with the bad. Primarily in this state, the difference between a cottonmouth, banded water snake, and the black rat snake. They can all look similar, but the cottonmouth is distinctive.

All the same, there are several non-venomous snakes that people confuse for rattlesnakes... The bull snake, great plains rat snake, or the prairie king snake. One thing leads to another, and someone is chopping heads off these creatures.

Now I'm not being the 'love all nature' hippie, by all means, if you have to kill a snake, kill the snake... But if you don't have to, there's nothing wrong with letting it go along its way.

I ran across three of these little guys in my garden over the weekend. They're meek and well mannered. More afraid of me than I of it. So instead of taking the hoe to it, I'll put them in the back yard to live under my shed. They eat insects, so it's free pest control. But that doesn't mean you should go grabbing snakes to relocate them either. You simply need to educate yourself on what you might encounter in your own yard.

As a quick reference, I bookmarked OKSnakes.org on my phone. That way, when I need to know, that info is right there for me.