About a month ago, Joan Hopper and her husband, Bob, discovered a snake skin in their back yard. It was more than three feet long. This weekend, the Hoppers found another, this one just under six feet long. "I think my husband said it was 67 inches," said Joan Hopper. They sent a photo of the skin to a taxidermist friend who said it was probably a rat snake. He said it would probably be 10 feet long within a month. Rat snakes eat small rodents and birds by constricting around their bodies and then swallowing them. That may just be the reason the Hoppers didn't have any pests bothering their vegetable and flower gardens this year.