After crossing the boardwalk over Lake Worth Lagoon at John D. MacArthur State Park in North Palm Beach, we made it to the beach side. You can either take the handicap ramp up the dune to the beach access, or the multilevel of stairs. We chose the stairs.
I climbed the first set of stairs. Everything was fine. On the next set of stairs, underneath the bottom step something caught my eye.
Finding refuge from the heat, a snake relaxed on the support beam underneath the step!
It was a red rat snake, also known as a corn snake! The Pantherophis guttatus is a common, non-venomous constrictor. According to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Committee, red rat snakes are the best climbing snakes in Florida, which explains how it got up to its aerial secret spot!
This particular red rat snake was vibrantly colored. Their colors can vary from yellow to tan to orange. They feast on small mammals, lizards, eggs, and sometimes even a bird.
Red rat snakes are known to inhabit mangrove forests, rockland hammocks, and pine rocklands. They are highly adaptable, as they have learned to deal with human expansion by thriving in urbanized environments.