I found this little lady last year.  She is usually shy, but I am still usually wary still.  I did my research a couple different ways. First I asked Chip to take a look.  "Yep", he said, "it is just a harmless rat snake".  Chip lives outside as much as he can, hunting and fishing, so I knew he knew what he was talking about.  I saw another adult snake, lloked like this one but a bit different coloring.  I posted a few pics of it on Facebook, and soon got comments that it was a rat snake. Or, as some called it, a chicken snake.  I did a bit of online research too.  The pictures confirmed what everyone was saying.  Just a harmless but helpful snake.  They help keep rid of the mice. 
      Oh, and I know at least one of them was a lady snake because I found about 6 or so babies all balled up, dead, in the corner of my shed.  I asked a wildlife worker at the LBL Nature Center about it, but he wasn't sure what may have killed them, but likely some chemical I had in the shed.
      So far this year, I haven't seen any snakes.  I have been looking, and sort of hope at least one comes around.  I have a few rabbits that like to frollick in my backyard.  They are not eating my garden greens, just my grass and clover, but I would rather they weren't so close to my garden.  I will post some pictures when one of them shows itself.