Could have been an Eastern Hognose Snake. They are non-venomous but perform an array of tricks to fool any potential threat. First they would rattle the leaves with their tail, like a rattler, then they can puff-out there body to appear bigger and cobra like, I think they do something with their mouth to emulate a cottonmouth (?), finally if all else fails they play dead. As I understand it they are blackish snakes with diamond-type markings. I don't think they bite but put on an impressive show that would scare away most critters, including us two-legged critters. They have a funny upturned nose to em. I've never seen one but I think they are native to the entire east coast. The Hognose snakes' head does not show the triangular shape that is evident to most pit-vipers (copperheads, rattlers, and adders). I may very well be completly wrong on this but snakes are cool.