Ah yes, summer. You know it’s arrived when you’re walking out to get the mail one sunny afternoon and you’re greeted by this:
Summer is here, and it’s time to breed more snakes!
I don’t consider myself all that afraid of snakes, bugs, and rodents. I tend to be rather surprised to see them, but they aren’t exactly terrifying. As a result, I thought I would go back to my apartment and get my camera to take some pictures of it. I also did what any good little caveman would do: I poked it with a stick to see what it would do.
Now, I know that virtually all species of snakes will leave you alone if you leave them alone, but this one didn’t have the coloring of a coral snake and I didn’t see a rattle on the end of its tail. (These two facts alone eliminate most of the dangerous snakes in North America.) So I thought, why not investigate?
Turns out the investigation was pretty boring. It let me poke it. It didn’t really move much. (Many snakes play dead when threatened.) I figured I should leave it be since it probably does more good than harm by eating various critters around my apartment. Besides, it’s a beautiful day outside! I’m sure the snake wants to enjoy the sunshine.
Of course, as soon as I got back inside I started trying to figure out what kind of snake it is. This led me to the North Carolina Online Snake Identification System. I put in everything I knew about it and got back the Eastern Hognose Snake as a result. Unfortunately, the pictures didn’t really match up well. I kept searching. Apparently, it could have also been a Mole Kingsnake, but once again, the pictures were just a little bit off.
Then I found this:
That’s right it’s a Northern Copperhead Snake! I was playing around with one of only six species of venomous snakes in North Carolina.
That probably makes it sound much more horrifying than it should though. Copperheads rarely bite, and they seem to go out of their way to avoid confrontations with humans. They will even “fire a warning shot” by striking at you without biting if you really start to piss them off. They pose more of a threat to pets than to humans, which is good news for me and really bad news for all of my neighbors.
Although I don’t wish this particular snake harm, I did notify my apartment complex about the snake because there are a bunch of dogs in this area that would investigate it with their mouths. I have a feeling this sort of encounter would not end well. I’m not entirely sure what they will do about it. A single 1.5 to 2 foot long copperhead isn’t exactly an infestation.
Besides, sometimes nature just happens. Welcome to summer everyone!