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Bill Leslie's Carolina Conversations

Cul de sac copperheads

Posted May 4, 2009

I live in a quiet Cary cul-de-sac. But there was quite a commotion there yesterday. Our neighbors' dog made the discovery while sniffing around some juniper in the front yard. Out popped a couple of copperheads! Right there on the driveway.  One was rather large. The other was no baby. Fortunately, the dog was quick enough to dodge the hissing heads of the venomous snakes. There were no bites but a lot of fear and clamor. A sharp garden rake put an end to the drama. With a little one in the household there was no other choice.

What about your snake encounters? The blogger with the best snake story wins a copy of my book Blue Ridge Reunion.

I've seen plenty of them but have never suffered a snake bite. My mother befriended black snakes in her flower gardens in Morganton. I wrote about that in my book. I once saw a snake eat a frog in the mountains. That was quite a sight. And I interviewed snake collector Tommy Spivey along the Waccamaw River. He was unique. Tommy had a pet raccoon.

This week I am doing a special online series on New Zealand. It is interesting to note that New Zealand has no land snakes. The country is also free of scorpions, bears and wild cats. There are plenty of sandflies and a few spiders, though.

Slither on up to your keyboard and rattle off a good snake story.

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  • retired state trooper May 8, 2009

    Upon going outside and checking the birdhouse we discovered it was the mother bird stuck in the doorway to the birdhouse. My husband took a branch and gently manuevered her out of the opening. I asked, "Are the eggs still in there or do you see any baby birds inside?" Being the good soul he is my husband stuck his eye up to the birdhouse and took a peak. He said, "Nope, I don't see anything." He even ran his finger up in the hole a little ways to be sure. About this time the clay house swayed a little and fell from the tree onto the ground. Low and behold a 3 foot copperhead crawled out of the hole in a hurry, curled up and poised himself in an attack mode. I immediately ran for the deck without even thinking; leaving my poor husband there. He made a mad dash for the garage and reappeared with a garden hoe and a shovel. Good move I yelled still on the deck!! He ruthlessly struck the snake with the hoe behind the neck and beheaded him. So Folks ... Do be careful in these here woods!!!

  • Deb1003 May 8, 2009

    Let me begin by saying, I absolutely hate snakes! There was one morning in summer when I decided to go out and plant a few perennials on the side of my house. My children were downstairs in the basement and I've always taught them not to answer the door for anyone. I let them know I'd be outside for a few minutes and continue to watch tv. While I was planting, I noticed something moving that caught my eye. It was a copperhead slithering along the foundation of my house. I ran up the back deck, and pounded on the back door..thinking that snake would crawl up the stairs and get me. But, my kids didn't answer the door, I pounded the door harder and screamed to them to let me in, but they didn't come. I watched the snake crawl across my sidewalk and down through my backyard. I then had the courage to come back through the garage, enter the house, and yell down to my kids, "WHY DIDN'T YOU LET ME IN?!" They then told me, you told us not to let anyone in the house, a lesson learned.

  • dragonspider May 8, 2009

    up at wilson creek I saw a copperhead grab a fish in a pool and then struggle with it until it stopped moving. then it took it behind the rocks to be eaten. After we watched that snake we began to walk further downstream and happened to see 3 more copperheads in the stream. We got out of that area quick.

  • Con Amor luvs u regardless May 7, 2009

    hannahbissette.....Go buy a few bags of LIME. It is very cheap. Put it down all over your yard, and around areas that you do not want snakes to get into. Snakes can not go accross lime because it burns their bellies. But remember, if you put down lime barriers, and the snake is already inside of that barrier, then it wont be able to get out. If you have a heavy population of copperheads, it is probably because someone has been killing off the black snakes. NEVER kill a black snake. They are NOT poison, and they do a GOOD job of keeping copperheads and mice away. Be sure and read my blog about me and black snakes at this link....

    http://www.wral.com/golo/blogpost/5101801/

  • pulstar40 May 7, 2009

    Several years ago when I was a Girl Scout Leader, we took our troop to Umstead State Park to camp. The girls had some free time and were playing, when suddenly one girl yelled "SNAKE!" The entire troop went running for their cabins, including one girl who literally entered the cabin via the window! Another leader went to investigate, and saw that it was an extremely long black snake. The snake continued on its merry way across our camp. The adults spent the next several minutes calming down a group of very jittery little girls -- until about 20 minutes later when we could hear folks screaming "SNAKE!" at the next camp. Apparently our visitor had made it over there. But it made the girls laugh that the other campers reacted the same way.

  • pulstar40 May 7, 2009

    When my dad was about 3 or 4 years old, he felt bad that his baby sister had nothing to play with while she was in her carriage. So he apparently found a snake in their yard and placed it in the carriage with the newborn! Luckily, my grandmother apparently was one tough cookie (or had a lot of maternal instinct) and got the snake out of the carriage with no harm done to my poor aunt. My dad always said that was the angriest my grandmother ever had been with him.

  • Con Amor luvs u regardless May 7, 2009

    Here is my snake blog!!

    http://www.wral.com/golo/blogpost/5101801/?golo_action=cbp

    I tried to take pics, but the scars didnt show up to good with my camera phone.

  • Con Amor luvs u regardless May 7, 2009

    I will blog my snake story, and include a pic of my scars to prove it!

  • hannahbissette May 7, 2009

    Hi Bill and everyone! This is the neighbor who Bill blogged about, in whose yard the dreaded copperheads were found in. I'm now freaking out b/c we found another adult copperhead yesterday afternoon, about 3 feet from our front door and near our 16 month old. 3 adult copperheads in 4 days - is this normal?? I'm scared to let our dog and son outside!

  • fire67bird May 6, 2009

    Years ago, my husband and his cousin (who was deathly afraid of snakes) were out on a pond in a borrowed boat when they saw a sottonmouth swimming toward their boat. They shot the snake, finished their fishing or whatever and returned home. The next day, the owner of the boat furiously approached them, claiming they had left a snake in his boat to frighten him. Apparently, the injured snake had crawled into the boat after they left and died there! (That's their story, anyway.)

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