Great "snake" stories. About the only snakes I've ever seen are garter snakes. I have HEARD a rattler, though. I lived in Florida for a short time about 10 years ago. Behind the house was a small canal that ran the entire length of the block and would get overgrown with weeds and brush. One day I was out in the backyard and heard a very odd "sound". Very distinct and not something I'd ever heard before. The sound seemed to echo across the yard. Having absolutely no desire to investigate, I rushed back into the house. A few days later a work crew from the town came to clean-up, mow, and chemically treat the water. I told one of the workers what I'd heard. And he said, no doubt it was a rattler I'd heard.
I know PA has timber rattlers. But then again we also have bears, bobcats, and coyotes - and I have seen all of those - EXCEPT a rattler. And for added interest, for the longest time there's been rumors about cougars/mountain lions living up here. Well, if almost every state in the US seems to have sightings of BIGFOOT (according to some show on the Discovery Channel, Animal Plant ... whatever) -- maybe mountain lions are living here and have been hanging out with a family of Bigfoots right in my own PA backyard and somehow I never noticed. LOL