Sunday, June 10, 2007

Snake Alert

I'm visiting my sister-in-law and her family in Alabama. Tonight all the kids were outside playing, and one of the neighbors' kids ran over screaming that he'd seen a snake. I thought it was a false alarm, but we all trekked over just in case.

Sure enough the kid wasn't telling any tales. It was a scary looking snake with a tell-tale triangular shaped head letting us know that while he wasn't a rattler he was poisonous. Kevin, my brother-in-law, retrieved his .22, but I convinced him to let me try to catch it.

My niece Rachael got a cloth bag and I rounded up a push broom to pin his head down. The plan was to put him in the bag and twist the top of the bag so he couldn't get out. Then I'd take him to some remote location without curious dogs and young children nearby.

My first attempt at pinning him down brought out him down only ticked him off and he emitted an odor that would make a skunk wince. It took me a number of attempts to finally pin him down and to muster the courage to grab his neck with my hand. I've never tried to catch a poisonous snake before, and I was a bit sheepish.

I managed to get him in my hand, put him in the bag and release my hold of him without him getting a hold of me, but the bag was a bit smaller than I'd thought it was, and he was quite a bit larger, so within a few seconds he'd escaped and with him went all my drive to make a second attempt.

So Kevin shot him. I felt kind of bad. I really wanted to catch the thing, but, quite frankly, the thing freaked me out.

We're pretty sure it was a Cottonmouth-odd since we're nowhere near water. Of course, with the massive droughts we've all been having as of late, I guess it's no wonder.

Here are some pics:




4 comments:

Anonymous said...

I'm sure your mother would LOVE to read this entry....and your father would tell you it's a COPPERHEAD!!!

Ford said...

"A difference between copperheads and the other species appears in the next phase, when they are approached. Most rattlesnakes vibrate their tails and most cottonmouths sit with mouth open when a human comes near. Even some non-venomous snakes vibrate their tails. These displays are merely warnings not to tread on them. They are not aggressive attack measures. The snakes just want us to leave them alone." -http://www.ces.ncsu.edu/gaston/Pests/reptiles/copperhead.htm

"The Cottonmouth derives its name from the habit of lying in a sprawled coil, head flung back, with the mouth resting in an ominous open position exposing the white inner surface of the mouth almost straight up."-http://www.wf.net/~snake/moccasin.htm

I believe it is a cottonmouth actually. The snake had its mouth open the whole time in defense position as above.

It is true that Cottonmouths are normally darker, but apparently there are lighter ones.

Here are links to pics of the two snakes:

Cottonmouth

Copperhead

I'm sticking with Cottonmouth until i see some more conclusive evidence.

Rob said...

Cool snake- I vote Cottonmouth. We used to see those all the time living in Woodlawn near the swamp-

Matt said...

You idiot. I can just see you doing that.