On a recent visit to the Fern Glen I spotted a medium-sized northern water snake basking in the sun on a log near the shore of the pond.
UMass natural resource website, "Water snakes can almost always be counted on to bite, defecate and spray a particularly foul-smelling musk when handled."
It was really tough to get close enough to get a decent photo without spooking the snake away, so I had to make do with the 60mm I was using at the time. I startled it several times, causing it to shoot into the water, I had to crouch and wait for a while before he was comfortable enough to get back on the log where I could take a photo.
On a much different note...... Two months ago I had the interesting chance to taste northern water snake. A friend was told of a water snake that was just hit on a nearby road, and instead of letting it rot on the road, he picked it up, skinned it and cooked it (see photo below before it was prepared).