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Old 07-04-2003, 06:08 PM
Penny Morgan
 
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Default Snakes are out and about

Just wanted to make people aware that I found my first baby (12") Copperhead
Snake on Saturday. My cat was playing with it and it was coiled up with
just its head out of the grass. Make sure you watch your step and wear
shoes in the grass.

I live in N. Raleigh near Mt. Vernon Church and Creedmoor Rd.

Penny



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Old 07-04-2003, 07:44 PM
Marcy Hege
 
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Default Snakes are out and about

Oh well, I was hoping that the snakes would decide to wait 'til summer to come
out. Note that baby copperheads can be as poisonous as adults.
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Old 07-04-2003, 07:56 PM
Arwen Long
 
Posts: n/a
Default Snakes are out and about

Do you just run into snakes in the grass? I don't have a woodpile or
anything & am wondering what the probability is of running into one...
North Durham area, if it matters.


On Mon, 7 Apr 2003, Penny Morgan wrote:

Just wanted to make people aware that I found my first baby (12") Copperhead
Snake on Saturday. My cat was playing with it and it was coiled up with
just its head out of the grass. Make sure you watch your step and wear
shoes in the grass.

I live in N. Raleigh near Mt. Vernon Church and Creedmoor Rd.

Penny



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Old 07-04-2003, 09:20 PM
Tom Gauldin
 
Posts: n/a
Default Snakes are out and about

I was surprised at the number of snakes I used to find in my pine straw.
You'd not even know they were there until you'd turn over the pine straw.

Black snakes (good) will climb ivy and hang out in the gutters or roof of
you house, also. We had a skylight replaced once, and the guy almost fell
off the roof when he pulled the flashing and a blacksnake slithered out. I
have also found them in our bird feeder and have a photo of one eating a
bird he'd caught.

FWIW, we lived near Falls Lake and I once was wading down a creek toward the
lake when I spotted two cotton mouths on a dead tree overhanging the creek.
One "dropped" off a limb and began to swim toward me. Trust me, Jesus
wasn't the only one who walked on water. grin Those two became jelly when
I returned with the 12 ga. and made them into "good" snakes. I should have
taken a photo, because I've been told again and again that they couldn't be
cotton mouths, since Falls Lake is too far north. However, having spent a
summer living in a tent on an island in a Mississippi bayou, I KNOW cotton
mouths and can identify them easily.
--

Tom Gauldin, Las Vegas NV
NEW EMAIL
NEW PHONE (702) 263-8804 voice/fax

"Arwen Long" wrote in message
cpub.duke.edu...
Do you just run into snakes in the grass? I don't have a woodpile or
anything & am wondering what the probability is of running into one...
North Durham area, if it matters.


On Mon, 7 Apr 2003, Penny Morgan wrote:

Just wanted to make people aware that I found my first baby (12")

Copperhead
Snake on Saturday. My cat was playing with it and it was coiled up with
just its head out of the grass. Make sure you watch your step and wear
shoes in the grass.

I live in N. Raleigh near Mt. Vernon Church and Creedmoor Rd.

Penny





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Old 07-04-2003, 11:32 PM
Anne Lurie
 
Posts: n/a
Default Snakes are out and about

I've never run into a "snake in the grass" per se, but I know that I've
narrowly avoided stepping on some that like to come out & sun themselves on
the "pavers" on my path to the mailbox.

Also, I have developed a quite different attitude toward snakes after
finding them in my Bluebird house a few years back!

Anne Lurie
NE Raleigh

"Arwen Long" wrote in message
cpub.duke.edu...
Do you just run into snakes in the grass? I don't have a woodpile or
anything & am wondering what the probability is of running into one...
North Durham area, if it matters.


On Mon, 7 Apr 2003, Penny Morgan wrote:

Just wanted to make people aware that I found my first baby (12")

Copperhead
Snake on Saturday. My cat was playing with it and it was coiled up with
just its head out of the grass. Make sure you watch your step and wear
shoes in the grass.

I live in N. Raleigh near Mt. Vernon Church and Creedmoor Rd.

Penny







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Old 09-04-2003, 01:45 AM
Susan Hogarth
 
Posts: n/a
Default Snakes are out and about

Tom Gauldin wrote:

...
FWIW, we lived near Falls Lake and I once was wading down a creek toward
the lake when I spotted two cotton mouths on a dead tree overhanging the
creek.
One "dropped" off a limb and began to swim toward me. Trust me, Jesus
wasn't the only one who walked on water. grin Those two became jelly
when
I returned with the 12 ga. and made them into "good" snakes. I should
have taken a photo, because I've been told again and again that they
couldn't be
cotton mouths, since Falls Lake is too far north. However, having spent a
summer living in a tent on an island in a Mississippi bayou, I KNOW cotton
mouths and can identify them easily.


According to _Reptiles of North Carolina_, it isn't so much too far north
(they are found in VA), but may be too far west. Wake is apparently the
westernmost edge of where they may be found, and that only rarely.

The same source also says:

"Reports of cottonmouths in western and central NC ... almost always are
based on nonvenomous water snakes of the genus _Nerodia_, usually
_N.sipedon_."

Also, and this is particularly interesting in light of your description:

"Unlike several species of large water snakes that share their habitat (most
notably _Nerodia taxispilota_), cottonmouths seldom climb to appreciable
heights in branches above the water. Most are seen on the bank or on
stumps, log jams, low brush piles, and similar places near water level."

We used to see these basking water snakes a lot at Schenck Forest in
Raleigh. Used to drive Bill crazy when someone would tell us to "watch out
for the cottonmouths down by the creek in the trees."

--
Susan Hogarth
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Old 09-04-2003, 02:44 AM
Tom Gauldin
 
Posts: n/a
Default Snakes are out and about

Dunno, Susan. These were two 30", fat, snakes with black skin hanging
around in a downed tree over the water. One fell out of the tree and began
swimming toward me, prompting the Jesus interpretation of walking on water.
When I finished with them, it'd take DNA analysis to even determine the
species, but I always considered them to be cotton mouths.

--

Tom Gauldin, Las Vegas NV
NEW EMAIL
NEW PHONE (702) 263-8804 voice/fax

"Susan Hogarth" wrote in message
.. .
Tom Gauldin wrote:

...
FWIW, we lived near Falls Lake and I once was wading down a creek toward
the lake when I spotted two cotton mouths on a dead tree overhanging the
creek.
One "dropped" off a limb and began to swim toward me. Trust me, Jesus
wasn't the only one who walked on water. grin Those two became jelly
when
I returned with the 12 ga. and made them into "good" snakes. I should
have taken a photo, because I've been told again and again that they
couldn't be
cotton mouths, since Falls Lake is too far north. However, having spent

a
summer living in a tent on an island in a Mississippi bayou, I KNOW

cotton
mouths and can identify them easily.


According to _Reptiles of North Carolina_, it isn't so much too far north
(they are found in VA), but may be too far west. Wake is apparently the
westernmost edge of where they may be found, and that only rarely.

The same source also says:

"Reports of cottonmouths in western and central NC ... almost always are
based on nonvenomous water snakes of the genus _Nerodia_, usually
_N.sipedon_."

Also, and this is particularly interesting in light of your description:

"Unlike several species of large water snakes that share their habitat

(most
notably _Nerodia taxispilota_), cottonmouths seldom climb to appreciable
heights in branches above the water. Most are seen on the bank or on
stumps, log jams, low brush piles, and similar places near water level."

We used to see these basking water snakes a lot at Schenck Forest in
Raleigh. Used to drive Bill crazy when someone would tell us to "watch out
for the cottonmouths down by the creek in the trees."

--
Susan Hogarth



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Old 09-04-2003, 03:20 AM
Susan Hogarth
 
Posts: n/a
Default Snakes are out and about

Tom Gauldin wrote:

Dunno, Susan.


As I suspected ;-)

These were two 30", fat, snakes with black skin hanging
around in a downed tree over the water. One fell out of the tree and
began swimming toward me, prompting the Jesus interpretation of walking on
water. When I finished with them, it'd take DNA analysis to even determine
the species, but I always considered them to be cotton mouths.


Yes, it certainly makes for a more interesting story.

Cottonmouths are generally wary around humans (according to the source I
mentioned earlier - I don't have any direct experience of them), but the
water snakes can be quite agressive and crotchety (according to my husband
who *is* a smake fan, and to our personal experience).

There's no point in arguing over something that can't be decided one way or
another, but I just wanted to point out that it's very unlikely one would
see a cottonmouth in Wake County, and that water snakes look very much like
them and trick many people into believing cottonmouths are common in this
area.

--
Susan Hogarth
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Old 09-04-2003, 03:33 AM
Tom Gauldin
 
Posts: n/a
Default Snakes are out and about

FWIW, I've spent many time in a canoe, floating down a bayou, looking at
Cotton mouths. Whether my tale is flavored by that memory (as you suggest)
or whether my recollection of what a fat cotton mouth, vs. a water snake
suggests, is moot. I've been in the canoe shooting the cotton mouths with a
..22 pistol, and having them charge the canoe with enough energy that we
needed to chop them with paddles.

Well, Susan, it's best to trust your books of what somebody says. I can
never prove my tale, so let's just leave it with your refutation.

--

Tom Gauldin, Las Vegas NV
NEW EMAIL
NEW PHONE (702) 263-8804 voice/fax

"Susan Hogarth" wrote in message
news
Tom Gauldin wrote:

Dunno, Susan.


As I suspected ;-)

These were two 30", fat, snakes with black skin hanging
around in a downed tree over the water. One fell out of the tree and
began swimming toward me, prompting the Jesus interpretation of walking

on
water. When I finished with them, it'd take DNA analysis to even

determine
the species, but I always considered them to be cotton mouths.


Yes, it certainly makes for a more interesting story.

Cottonmouths are generally wary around humans (according to the source I
mentioned earlier - I don't have any direct experience of them), but the
water snakes can be quite agressive and crotchety (according to my husband
who *is* a smake fan, and to our personal experience).



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Old 09-04-2003, 04:32 AM
Susan Hogarth
 
Posts: n/a
Default Snakes are out and about

Tom Gauldin wrote:

FWIW, I've spent many time in a canoe, floating down a bayou, looking at
Cotton mouths.


Are you sure? Perhaps they, too, were water snakes. How do you know they
were cottonmouths? Did you see someone bit by one? Did locals identify them
for you? Many people around here call water snakes 'cottonmouths', so I
think local identification has to be taken with a grain of salt.

snip

Well, Susan, it's best to trust your books of what somebody says.


I'm not sure what you're saying. It's certainly possible you saw two
cottonmouths, but it's also an uncommon sight in Wake County, and
mis-identification is common. That's all I wanted to point out.

I can
never prove my tale, so let's just leave it with your refutation.


Neither is susceptible to proof at this point. I just like to point out how
similar the two are and how unlikely one is to find cottonmouths here. You
needn't be so defensive about it.

Here is some interesting info about the common confusion:

http://www.parcplace.org/publication...es/cmflier.pdf

http://www.parcplace.org/education/sparc/trip5.htm

northern water snake:
http://www.snakesandfrogs.com/scra/snakes/nortwtr.htm

brown water snake:
http://www.snakesandfrogs.com/scra/snakes/brwnwtr.htm

and cottonmouth:
http://www.snakesandfrogs.com/scra/snakes/cotton.htm


.... and some five-lined skinks hatching (just 'cause they're so cute):
http://www.snakesandfrogs.com/scra/l.../newskinks.jpg

--
Susan Hogarth


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Old 09-04-2003, 05:44 PM
Lance R.
 
Posts: n/a
Default Snakes are out and about

"Susan Hogarth" wrote in message news:hoMka.760

FWIW, I've spent many time in a canoe, floating down a bayou, looking at
Cotton mouths.


Are you sure? Perhaps they, too, were water snakes. How do you know they
were cottonmouths? Did you see someone bit by one? Did locals identify

them
for you? Many people around here call water snakes 'cottonmouths', so I
think local identification has to be taken with a grain of salt.

snip

Well, Susan, it's best to trust your books of what somebody says.


I'm not sure what you're saying. It's certainly possible you saw two
cottonmouths, but it's also an uncommon sight in Wake County, and


Looks like somebody forgot to take their bitchy pill today.

Lance


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Old 09-04-2003, 06:32 PM
Susan H. Simko
 
Posts: n/a
Default Snakes are out and about

Lance R. wrote:

Looks like somebody forgot to take their bitchy pill today.


That's not true. A lot of people kill brwon water snakes because they
think they're copperheads. Even knowledgeable people. Last year my
s.o.'s stepdad killed one in their yard because he thought it was a
copperhead despite my thoughts to the contrary. The attitude tends to
be better safe than sorry. He was unhappy a few days late rwhen I
pulled out my reptile guide and idnetified the snake he killed as a
brown water snake.

I think whther or not you perceive someone as being "bitchy" may have to
do with how much you value the critter. Personally, I like snakes and I
dislike the knee jerk "let's just kill it" reaction a lot of people have
to them.

My mother has always had cats who were fond of snakes - particularly
garter snakes. My mom's neighbor would throw a hissy fit anytime Joseph
P. Pussycat (a *huge* maine coon) or his successor Joey would bring
home a snake. It was always my job to retrieve the snake from the cat
and release it in the woods because if I didn't do it *immediately*, the
snake was dispatched with a shovel.

Most of the snakes you encounter in this are are harmless. Leave them
alone and they'll leave you alone. In addition, they will make dinner
of any local rodent you may have plaguing your garden.

Susan
s h simko at duke dot edu

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Old 09-04-2003, 08:32 PM
Lance R.
 
Posts: n/a
Default Snakes are out and about

"Susan H. Simko" wrote in message
...
Most of the snakes you encounter in this are are harmless. Leave them
alone and they'll leave you alone. In addition, they will make dinner
of any local rodent you may have plaguing your garden.


Or the local pets.

Lance


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Old 09-04-2003, 08:56 PM
Susan Hogarth
 
Posts: n/a
Default Snakes are out and about

On Wed, 09 Apr 2003 19:27:03 GMT, in article
, Lance R. wrote:

"Susan H. Simko" wrote in message
...
Most of the snakes you encounter in this are are harmless. Leave them
alone and they'll leave you alone. In addition, they will make dinner
of any local rodent you may have plaguing your garden.


Or the local pets.


It's not very responsible to let your pet rodents run free. They should always
be supervised for outdoor play.

My dogs seem to ignore snakes, although I have seen other dogs who react
strongly to them. The dogs and I nearly stepped on a young copperhead once
before I realised it and hopped on one foot (the one that was *not* just about
to step on the snake) to the side. Of course Bill was there with the camera in a
flash

This was at Schenck Forest, where we have seen several copperheads and many
watersnakes. The copperheads are *gorgeous*, although of course it doesn't pay
to get too close to them. But they don't seem inclined to attack. I used to walk
at Schenck with the dogs every evening, and we often saw snakes and many people
had their dogs off-lead, but I don't recall any bites.

I may try to find the pictures Bill took and post them. I even made up a flyer
with pics of copperheads and water snakes so people could have an easier time
identifying them - myself included, as without Bill I am hopeless to ID any
snake but the copperhead reliably. Well, I can also pretty reliably ID worm
snakes

- Susan
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Old 09-04-2003, 09:44 PM
Tom Gauldin
 
Posts: n/a
Default Snakes are out and about

Susan Hogarth" wrote in message news:tO_ka.2023$W%

My dogs seem to ignore snakes, although I have seen other dogs who react
strongly to them. The dogs and I nearly stepped on a young copperhead once
before I realised it and hopped on one foot


It was probably just a corn snake and you imagined it to be a Copperhead,
since it makes for a more interesting story. grin

FWIW, I have a picture of a black snake (unless it was a Cotton Mouth) I
found in the bird feeder one day. He'd caught a Finch (or perhaps it was an
Ostrich) and had it about half way down the hatch. I picked him up and took
him out to the woods so Klepto (or maybe it was a wolf) wouldn't get him. I
didn't realize that a snake could spit out something that was almost down
the hatch. Unfortunately, the snake (or was it a stick) didn't realize it
and spit the bird out.

About all I could do was to put the black snake (or was it an Adder) down by
"his" bird and put Klepto in the garage. By the time I returned, he'd
retaken his prize, so when he got it about 3" down, I again picked him up
and placed him way out back by the stream (or was it a creek) beside a Pine
(or was it an Oak) tree.




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