Monday, September 10, 2007


So we took a walk yesterday morning to clean up the rocks in the road. The county grader doesn't do a good job and we needed the exercise anyway. Along the way down Mom spotted a tiny black snake. About 8 inches long and half the width of a pencil. On the way back, we saw another one the same size. This time it was dead, run over by a car.

Richard and I had shopping to do so we went off to do it. Mom asked me to pick up some Murphy's Oil Soap for her. When I came home I walked to her house. When I got to the private road between our properties Echo bounced a deer. I yelled at Echo to stop and she skidded to a halt. I was watching the deer because it had stopped, too. It was staring back to see if we would chase it.

Out of the corner of my eye I saw Echo start to edge around me. She swung in a wide arc and ended up in front and to my left. I snapped my head around to give her The Look (Which usually stops dogs, kids and husbands in their tracks).

Right below my foot as I was stepping forward was ANOTHER snake. Only this wasn't a black snake. This was the size of a pencil, but about 15 inches long...and THIS was a baby copperhead.

I stepped back and watched the snake. Echo stood in front watching me. The deer stood close to the forest watching both of us.

Being a singer has its advantages. I filled my lungs with air, pushed up my diaphragm and let loose with a nice, healthy holler. "DAD!" I screamed. I could hear his music blasting out of the garage and I was afraid he wouldn't hear me. So I screamed again. He yelled back "What?" I hollered back "COPPERHEAD!" There was this long moment of silence. Then, "I'll get a shovel."

He came up to the road and as he planted the shovel, the thing moved TOWARDS him and under his boot! He stepped back, planted the shovel again and the snake coiled and struck the shovel. Typical copperhead behavior - they are aggressive. Pa killed it with the shovel blade.

In the entire time I've lived here a year and half or so...I've seen one snake. IT was a black snake, too. It was standing between Echo's legs about two weeks ago too terrified to move. Echo had no clue it was there.

To see THREE snakes in one day is a little disconcerting. Copperheads normally have 5-10 live young in their second nesting season August to October. I shall be wearing my boots from now on.

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