Not sure what part of Kansas you’re lucky enough to be in, but thanks for the pics! For the rest of you- Kansas sucks, stay out! (Just kidding…that’s my attempt at population control.)
I agree that the snake looks like a Northern Watersnake. Not venomous, but very feisty. Next time let me know what they taste like.
The gourd looks like a Buffalo Gourd (Cucurbita foetidissima)- very tasty seeds, when roasted, but mostly a bitter-tasting plant otherwise. (Also, a potential biofuel.)
I submit that, without seeing it firsthand, the unknown plant is a Skunkbush Sumac (Rhus Trilobata). Most sumac (at least in our area) makes tasty sumac-ade but I haven’t tried the skunkbush variety, and the name isn’t very flattering. http://plants.usda.gov/java/profile?symbol=RHTR&photoID=rhtr_002_ahp.tif