That is a great story and a fascinating blog. Frankly, I don't particularly like snakes. However, I grew up in an area where there were only a few species of poisonous snake, and they were mostly found in the forest. If we saw snakes near a domicile it was likely to be a garter snake, and these were regarded affectionately by farmers. These snakes eat pests and are harmless to humans. We were always told to leave garter snakes alone (I lived in a farm community).
A fascinating blog, well written, as usual.