Photo attached is one I took of a snake who came out to sun itself on...
Photo attached is one I took of a snake who came out to sun itself on 12/3/2013, a very mild late autumn day here in zip code 20832. I checked in my Peterson Field Guide to Reptiles and Amphibians Eastern/Central North America, Roger Conant & Joseph T. Collins, in an effort to identify the snake, and have narrowed the field to either the Eastern Garter Snake (Thamnophis sirtalis sirtalis) or the Eastern Ribbon Snake (Thamnophis sauritus sauritus). However, I’m no herpetologist, so I’m requesting your expertise in verifying its identity, etc. It is not a pit viper, therefore, not venomous, and I presume it’s a beneficial species to have in gardens. I estimated the overall length to be about 18 inches. Thank you, and best wishes for the upcoming holiday season.
The photo of the above snake looks a little washed out. However, the snake looks like an Eastern Garter snake and is not poisonous. See the attached link from DNR http://www.dnr.state.md.us/wildlife/Plants_Wildlife/herps/Squamata/EasternGartersnake.asp
and our publication on snakes http://extension.umd.edu/sites/default/files/_images/programs/hgic/Publications/HG64_Snakes.pdf