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That is very cool. I have never heard of a snake eating ticks. Is that just because the ticks are on the voles? My wife has a bad snake phobia (even stranger, frogs too). Once the garden gets going, she usually won't venture out there much. We're talking Garter snakes and an occasional Brown snake which are about the size of a pencil. I don't know what she would do if she ever saw a blue racer lol. I'm just the opposite. When I was a kid I would spend days looking for them. I used to lay plywood out in grassy areas and check under them every morning. Worked like charm on garters and an occasional milk snake. Drove my parents insane LOL.
 

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I have always loved snakes. When I was in school we did a study for psychology class. Put a large rubber snake on the center line of a road and then hid and observed. I think it was around one in 9 cars that intentionally swerved to hit the snake

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I did a similar study on my own when I was about ten. Also with a rubber snake. I thought it was hilarious to hide it around the house in cupboards and closets. The best one was under my mothers pillow...never saw that rubber snake again.
 

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I hafta admit it …..blue racers startle me whenever I suddenly see 'em up close.
I have not seen one since I was a young kid. I will never forget it. I reached for what I thought was an old bicycle tire laying in a small junk pile. I took a big step back when the bike tire took off LOL.

This guy was in the parking lot at work. Wayne Co
Your third pic is a Brown snake. I stop for them while mowing my yard all the time. About the size of a pencil, cool little guys.
 

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I have to say that they are a beautiful snake. They must be keeping your tree girdling voles in check?
 
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