Black Rat Snake in Myrtle Beach, SC

A snake peers up from a walkway across the dunes at Springmaid Beach.

Black Rat Snake in Myrtle Beach, SC

A closer view.

A Troll Under the Bridge?

By Henry H. Mitchell, September 12, 2009.

As we left the teeming-with-sunbathers-and-surfers beach today and climbed up the steps to the walkway across the dunes, we spotted a (literally) curious movement ahead: curiosity had apparently induced a black snake to peer up and over the floor boards. As one might expect, first most walkway-crossers withdrew; then the snake itself withdrew back to its troll-like under-the-bridge habitat.

Nearby local youngsters averred that they had seen the snake there on recent days “chasing a baby beaver.” We're not sure about the accuracy of the “baby beaver” report. Perhaps a rat? (We ourselves have only seen rabbits in that zone.)

Our best guess from the small section of snake visible (and from the fact that as we approached it remained immobile) is that it is a Black Rat Snake (Elaphe obsoleta obsoleta). We hope that it did not manage to capture the friendly anole we spotted on the same walkway on several days including yesterday.

This guide to Myrtle Beach is sponsored by Mitchells Publications.