Yesterday afternoon, I was on one of those phone calls where you have to pay attention, but you are doing far more listening than talking. So, I saw a couple of clumpy new weeds out the back window and grabbed my gloves (thankfully) and managed to put the right one on one-handed, and proceeded out back to vanquish the fast-growing greenery while keeping up with my listening. And I started removing fistfuls of the young growth and realized that there’s a…strange…shape among the leaves.
I think some time back F told me this is a (non-poisonous) Storeria dekayi, aka De Kay’s or brown snake (I never would have known otherwise). This species never gets very big, and tolerates urban life in these parts.
Lesson: wear your gloves when you’re gardening and PAY ATTENTION!