Kurt came within inches of stepping on this snake at McCormick's Creek State Park in southern Indiana. We were concerned it was a copperhead, but while the pattern is the same, the colors are reversed. We mailed the picture to the Department of Natural Resources who confirmed that it was a watersnake and then added this concerning statement:
Though the watersnakes are non-venomous and usually look to avoid conflict, they are very feisty and have no use for being bothered by humans and will strike if they feel threatened, often biting and holding on while grinding their jaws (experience speaking here).
Needless to say, we will be more careful next time we're near a creek. Venomous or not, I want no part of a snake bite, let alone one that involves grinding jaws.