I arrived at the cottage Friday evening, after having dinner with my sister and her family in Barry's Bay. The next morning, after running into town on some errands, I arrived back and let buddy 'the wonder-poodle' out, who promptly leapt out the door at me, and pranced over the long, skinny visitor who was basking on the concrete pavers outside. It hissed up, made a few striking motions, and rattled its tail, warning us off.
I freaked out a bit, because all I know of snakes is if it rattles its tail and strikes out, it might be a Massasauga Rattler, the only venemous snake in Ontario. What little I do know however, is that the cottage is located well outside the normal range of that snake, or so I thought I knew. I got Buddy back in (who walked right over the snake on his way in of course!) and then phoned niece Rachel up, and had her google "Massasauga Rattlesnake", who quickly found out that mine was more than likely an imposter, and in this particular case was an Eastern Milksnake. The milksnake is virtually identical in colour and markings, yet is much slimmer, and though it 'rattles' its tail, it does not have actual rattles at the end. Phew!