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Venomous Snakes Native to the New England Area That Aren’t Your Ex-Boyfriend Ryan

Now that the leaves have begun to change and it’s the perfect time for a hike, it’s important to review some safety measures. This is important so that if you run into a venomous snake that isn’t your ex Ryan back on Thanksgiving break, you can recognize it!

New England is home to a surprisingly small number of venomous snakes – and even fewer since Ryan got into UCLA – the first of which is the timber rattlesnake. The timber rattlesnake has a triangular head, is usually dark brown or gray, and has v-shaped crossbands across its back. Be careful, though – the timber rattlesnake generally mates in the summer and fall, just like you and Ryan that time you went pumpkin picking and stayed late to have sex in the corn maze once everyone had left the farm. Make sure you're being vigilant to tell these two apart!

The copperhead is another poisonous snake common to the New England area. It is characterized by its tan, patterned body and copper colored triangular head, unlike your ex who is characterized by his black Converse and uncanny ability to make you question your self-worth. However, similar to Ryan, the copperhead likes rocky terrain and specifically seeks out wet areas in the summer months (classic). Luckily, the copperhead is also recognizable by its enormous length, so you are unlikely to confuse it with Ryan.

Don’t get scared just yet. Most sightings of venomous snakes in New England are actually just reports of mistaken identity, like when you thought you saw Ryan in Trader Joe’s and hid behind the frozen appetizers even though you know he’s 3,000 miles away. Milk snakes, black racers, and black rat snakes are often misidentified as rattlesnakes due to their vibrating tails. Although these snakes might still bite you, they can’t poison you to death. So if a guy makes plans with you for Saturday night, and then doesn’t answer your texts until Monday morning with some bullshit excuse about being too tired to check his phone, fear not! This sounds like Ryan, but it could be a comparatively harmless black rat snake! Really, who knows?

This fall, as you venture out into the great outdoors, be sure to brush up on the appearance and behavior of all venomous New England snakes. That way, if you see a copperhead, you know not to text it at 2am saying you still miss it-- just call animal control and get that situation taken care of! Unfortunately, this article does not cover venomous snakes that dwell in other regions, so if you run into Ryan at UCLA, you’re on your own.