Nope, not a black racer. Thats a black rat snake. To the untrained eye, they may seem identical. The keeled scales, narrow head and facial markings near the mouth are the give away in this photo. Racers have smooth scales and no facial markings. Also, A racer will never let you get that close. They flee like lighting. Rat snakes are very slow on the ground and usually stay put when you come upon them.
Yep snakes keep populations of rats and other nasties down. Should never kill one - even poisonous species. Just let 'em be. I've seen copperheads on trails - beautiful snakes but they won't bother you unless you step on one or try to pick it up.
I've pinned down Timbers with long sticks... If your from the southern part of the state you might call them Pine Rattlers... My old man claimed sighting of copperhead back in the day, not too sure bout that... The snake I would LOVE to find in the wilds of NJ is the Queen snakes
Little over 4' or so, gonna call Western Rat Snake. Good looking specimen.
Walking the pup, and he just hopped right over him- he was stretched fully across the trail. So pup is on the leash, with this snake is between us. When I stop, he comes back to me. Fortunately he's little, so I just raised up on the leash and airmailed him over the snake. While not poisonous, no one needs to get bit.