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Sunday, September 4, 2011

A COPPERHEAD COMES A CALLIN'


Follow-up author's note: Thanks to Lola -- she thought this snake was not a copperhead -- I tried to further ID it through online sources. My source of identifying this snake had been a neighbor that was a Kentucky native.  So now its true identity is up in the air. If you want to take a crack at letting me know who the real Mr. Snake is I would appreciate it. I found this great source if you want some help: http://www.virginiaherpetologicalsociety.com/venomous-look-a-likes/copperhead-look-a-likes/copperhead.asp

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Yesterday afternoon my son was outside with my two dogs when he noticed something strange moving on the front porch. Strange it was -- it was a copperhead! It had tangled itself in a web under my long sitting bench. The snake was wiggling trying to break free from the web.  



My son ran inside and grabbed the camera and got this close-up. Mind you he was not that close -- it is a cropped photo.


He took a small branch and hooked it in the web that was partly on the copperhead's neck and walked the snake, dangling from the web, out to the field where he let it go.  


Copperheads are extremely venemous but so far no one has died in Kentucky from their bite. But a bite will send you to the hospital for a long recovery. 

They are important to the ecology of your property, eating rodents, slugs and other pests.  Somehow knowing that does not alleviate my fears, but I believe in sparing their life. 

I just ask Mother Nature that they don't come a callin' at my front door anymore! Please stay out in the fields!


47 comments:

  1. That critter gave me the cold chills! Non-venomus don't scare me so much as the deadly ones. I give them a wide berth!

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  2. MAMA-BUG -- I agree with your thinking -- a wide birth. This is the second one I have seen in the four years I have lived here. The last one was next to my back porch. I imagine Florida has its share of poisonous snakes. Thanks -- barbara

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  3. *Gasp!* You and your son are brave! I don't mind snakes, but we have no poisonous species in this region, I'm happy to say. Great photos! I'm glad you and the snake are both safe.

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  4. I probably would have done the snake in. We have plenty of black snakes to eat the rodents and such. I would hate to have the dogs bitten after I had turned one loose. My daughter caught a copperhead last year in a section of the chicken coop. I was gone at the time. She put it in a bucket and took it to the river and turned it loose. Fine son you have to take care of it for you.

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  5. Whoa. I'd be running back inside for the shotgun, not the camera. How scary, but you know they are kind of pretty--from a distance. And no, I don't really have a shotgun.

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  6. I wouldn't like to see that around my front porch either. Nice to know that your son took care of that situation for you.

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  7. Sheri -- I watch where I walk when I am outside in the summer. The word is that they won't strike unless you touch them but I hope I never get close enough to even think I could touch them! -- barbara

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  8. Grampy, Your daughter is a brave one to get one in a pail. Nice that she took it into a natural area for a release. You are lucky to have black snakes -- I should import some. -- barbara

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  9. Towanda -- I got a laugh out of your response. You have scorpions I have snakes we just have to learn to live with them somehow. I think I rather have your scorpions. -- barbara

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  10. Farmchick -- yes, sons do come in handy sometimes. I would imagine that your area has copperheads too. -- barbara

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  11. Birdie -- Hmmm I guess one could consider that. My thought is to stock up on the black snakes that Grampy mentioned in his comment. -- barbara

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  12. What a pretty snake!
    Can't say as I go out of my way to find them nor would I welcome any on my porch but I can admire snakes from a healthy distance.

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  13. Having lived around rattlesnakes, I know how you feel. Live and let live, I say, except when they show up on my back doorstep . . .

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  14. Jayne -- that is exactly the mindset I have in order to be able to not live in fear. Granted no one likes to think about being bit by a poisonous spider, snake or some type of insect -- or attack by some human even. We juat have to deal with what we know and move on (watching where we step that is) -- barbara

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  15. That is not a copperhead. It doesnt even look venomous due to the shape of its eye. It looks most like a scarlet snake but head color isnt consistent. Copperheads are copper to brown. I just point this out because lots of people kill snakes every year that are perfectly harmless to humans. You can read here for snakes in kentucky. Have a great day!

    http://fw.ky.gov/pdf/kysnakebook.pdf

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  16. Hello:
    We are filled with admiration for your son's thoughtful and humane action when dealing with this snake which would, most certainly, have alarmed us. On occasions such as this, we are very grateful that snakes, generally, are outside of our immediate experience!

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  17. Wonder why it was up on your porch? Surprised it left the protection of grass or other shady areas. Also surprised that it was caught up in a spider web. I would have thought a snake could easily break the strands of a web. So nice that your son freed the snake and sent it on its way. Lets just hope it stays in its own territory, not yours.

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  18. Eeeek!We have only one venomous snake in the UK and that is an adder but people rarely die from their bite. Your snake is so beautiful but only at a distance.

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  19. Yikes! Not a big snake fan unless they're on a belt or boots. hahahaha

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  20. All snakes tie my stomach in knots -- one on the front porch and one by the back door, even if years apart I'd begin thinking of moving. I mus say the pictures are good.

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  21. Eeeek! Our recent visitor was a rattler near one of the villas where I work. We've also had a few scorpions nearby this year. At a distance is much better momma nature!

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  22. Elise -- Yes, live and let live. Rattlesnakes are one snake we don't have to worry about in this part of KY. Thanks for stopping by. -- barbara

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  23. After going to that site and looking at the pictures, I'm not sure, either, if it is a copperhead.The markings should be wider on the side and his head doesn't look that flat like a poisonous snake's head is. Either way, I would not stay near it for long, I hate snakes!

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  24. Lola -- I thank you for your astute comment. I took heed with your info and did some research. Since I am not a herpetologist I leaned on a neighbor to ID. I have invited commented on the authors notes at the beginning of my post as I want to find out what kind of snake this really is. this is what I like about the comment section -- folks stepping forward with their knowledge so we can all learn Thanks -- barbara

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  25. Jane and Lance -- Snakes are certainly valuable but history has not given them a fair rap. Many tales are told where the snake is portrayed as the evil one. -- barbara

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  26. Darcy -- I think the snake was young - about 18 inches long? We get some strong spider webs built in this area. I think the snake was looking for something to eat in the web. I don't know why he picked a bland porch when wild nature abounds all around the property. -- barbara

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  27. cuby poet -- Will have to look up adder snakes. Must admit I am not up on my knowledge of snakes. Will add "research snakes" to my to do list -- should provide some interesting material. Thanks -- barbara

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  28. June -- I believe that our culture has given all snakes a sinister reputation. I think they are afraid of us as we are of them. I treat them with respect but not as my best friend. I now realize that I said not as my best friend but indirectly they are as they control pests in our yards and agricultural fields in a monumental way. Thanks -- barbara

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  29. Birdman -- I think a lot of folks believe this way. Thanks -- barbara

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  30. I know you didn't plan it, but it struck me as a crazy coincidence that you posted about immortality and then a snake. He looks like the harmless snake that has similar markings, but I would let him go his way while you go your way, which apparently you did. Dianne

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  31. Second attempt...Looks harmless to me with that rounded nose, but you did the right thing to let it go its way and not get too close. Dianne

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  32. Janet -- thanks for checking out the snake site and trying to determine if it truly was a copperhead. And I agree with you, all snakes are safe with me as I keep at least a mile away from them if I can. Thanks == barbara

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  33. Reflections -- Oh yes I have heard about the rattlers in CA. In fact the west seems to be known for its venomous rattlers. Scorpions seem to come in all varieties. I think if I had to choose between the two I would pick the scorpions although I do think snakes are beautiful. Thanks -- barbara

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  34. That is DEFINITELY not a viper's triangular head and thick body. I think you have a lovely corn snake. Narrow head and slender body plus markings are identifying features. Did it have kind of a checkerboard pattern on underbelly?... how it came to be known as a "corn snake"... look like corn kernel pattern on belly.

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  35. Dianne -- Now that is a coincidence that I put the last two posts adjacent to each other. I did laugh when I realized I had done so. The following commentator has identified the snake as a probable corn snake -- non-venomous. You were right in your ID as non-venomous. Thanks -- barbara

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  36. hjemmet -- Thanks for stopping by and identifying the snake as a probable corn snake. I'll have to tell my neighbor to get some new glasses. We never thought to look at any belly pattern. I do appreciate your input and perhaps I can feel more at rest when walking around my yard. -- barbara

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  37. Glad the snake made it back into the fields. He was probably just as scared of you as you were of him. I'd be like you though...definitely nice to keep at a distance. I don't really know my snake varieties, but in reading through the comments, he does look similar to the corn snakes we've gotten into the animal shelter on occasion.

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  38. Rose -- I think it is a corn snake which is a relief to me for my dogs sake. My daughter was walking a friend's dog in her Utah mountain canyons when a rattler bite him. The dog was huge so she got a hiker to help get the dog off the trail. It was rushed to the vet and can you believe that it cost several thousand to save the dogs life. Venomous snake bites are bad news. Thanks for confirming that it is probably a non-venemous corn snake. -- barbara

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  39. I agree with the corn snake ID. Good for you for not killing it.

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  40. Vicki -- Yes, a corn snake -- good news! Thanks for your comment -- barbara

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  41. It is actually a young Eastern Milk Snake (Lampropeltis triangulum). Very similar to the Corn Snake and just as harmless. Beautiful little snake!

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  42. Good thing none of you was harmed. Yes, these snakes are dangerous. And if it's really a copperhead snake, please call some professionals to do the hunting as it might visit you again.

    Source: http://www.copperheadsnake.net/

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  44. Surprised that nobody has IDed that snake yet. It's a milk snake. Common in NY and not venemous.

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  45. Oops...just saw the lower comments. Mystery was in fact solved without me.

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