Everyone has fears: spiders, ticks, the dark, planes, etc.

To be honest, I do not have any real phobias, but there is one thing that really gives me the heebie-jeebies: snakes.

Perhaps it is because I never spent time with them. For example, I have seen thousands of daddy long legs and other spiders, so grabbing one and tossing it outside the door does not affect me.

Snakes, on the other hand? Something about them makes me quiver. What's even worse than snakes are water snakes. Not that all water snakes are venomous or dangerous, but the idea of something slithering under my feet or creeping up to me when I am vulnerable and having fun with friends is just wrong.

Well, now that summer is here, it's probably time you were made aware of the snakes in the waters you're cannonballing into.

What are they, and are they dangerous?

There are three types of water snakes to be on the lookout for: the northern water snake, the maritime garter snake, and the eastern ribbon snake.

According to a Bird Watching HQ article, none of these snakes are venomous. However, they can be dangerous in another way.

For example, the northern water snake, while not venomous, does carry a lot of bacteria. And they can (and do) bite. Not only do they bite, but their bite is very painful and will cause bleeding.

Mix that bite with the snake's bacteria or whatever bacteria is found in the lake/pond, and you are at risk for a serious infection.

Northern water snakes live on the water's edge, on rocks or large sticks, and in shallow water. They're brown and grey with brown or black bands.

The maritime garter snake is the one you will see the most. They usually will be in grassy, freshwater sources. The snakes are often green, brown, and black, with a pattern that looks like rope.

The eastern ribbon snake is skinny with a long tail. They are kind of beautiful.

They often have three bright creme-collared stripes running the long way down their brown or black exterior.

Although all three snakes are not venomous, a bite can still be dangerous. Beware of these before taking your first walk into your local Maine pond.

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