Now my question is still: What is he?
He definitely has a pronounced head of the more diamond shape variety. But, in all the research I've done I still can't conclusively say 100% for sure he is or is not a Water Moccasin (a.k.a. Cotton Mouth)
I suppose as snakes go he is rather beautiful, but his scale pattern is unique enough I just can't really say for sure what he is. At this point we err on the side of caution and presume he or I suppose she is a young Water Moccasin.
So, here is my invitation, feel free to share this post around to any and all snake savvy friends. Perhaps we can get some help in identifying him as friend or foe.
Oh, and for all the Grandma's out there, I want to ASSURE You we were not this close to him. he was a good 8-10feet down the creek bank. Zoom lenses and creative cropping are what bring him in for this close view.