I got my first snake when I was 7 years old; it was an brown Eastern Gartersnake (Thamnophis sirtalis sirtalis) with three yellowish stripes. I've had snakes often, but not until a year and a half ago did I really start collecting snakes as a hobby. I have six snakes now and my collection is rapidly growing; one of my cornsnakes just laid six eggs. If they're not all infertile, I expect them to hatch in late October.
I've had this snake for about 2 years now, and it's wracked me with worry and despair ever since I got it! I got it from a boy who found it on his front yard; the snake had an infestation of mites and skin blisters. After a few weeks of my "excellent" snake care (if I do say so myself ;) I got rid of the mites and the blisters cleared up. When I got it, it was about 3 years old and around 32-36 inches long. Now it's 1 year older and 12 inches longer. It is a voracious eater, eating whatever mouse meat I give him, and is very easy to handle. What I meant when I said it worried me so, is that for four months it suddenly decided it didn't want to eat! As of now it is eating well again.
I received this snakes about 4 months ago from a fellow herper. This is the one that just laid the eggs. It eats well and is about 30 inches long. Its docile demeanor makes it a dream to handle. This species is my recommended first snake for beginners.
This is the mate and sibling of my other cornsnake. It eats well but is a little trickier to handle than its sister. It's about 32 inches long and more heavily built. When I first got it, I was housing it with the female and the mating was a big surprise (for me at least). I wasn't aware they bred until the female was noticibly gravid (pregnant). They both have mix of genes including blood corn and albino. So the hatchling are going to be very interestingly varied. I'll keep you updated when they hatch.
This is my largest snake and is much more interesting than all my other snakes. It is docile and relaxed when handled. It's 48 inches long and weighs about four pounds (it seems to weigh a ton!). It is very strong, so strong that when it coils tightly around my buff arm, it feels like it's going to fall off! It can eat jumbo rats, something pretty awesome to see.
I got this snake a little while ago. It's about 14 inches long and eats well. She (or he?) isn't tame yet but it will be soon (it still dumps on your hands).
When I acquired this snake it was 6 inches long; now it's 10 inches long and is a glutton, gorging itself whenever it can. It is hard to handle because it's so darn fast!