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"Is that snake poisonous?"

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Growing up in the city as I did, I didn't have much experience with snakes of any kind, whether poisonous or non-poisonous. So, it was sort of cool when I looked out my kitchen window as I was getting a drink of water and I saw something long and skinny slithering up my neighbor's driveway. I ran outside, calling out to my neighbors "There's a big snake in your driveway!" as I hurried over to look at it close up. You know how eight-year-olds are! They have to get their noses pressed up against whatever it is they are looking at.  :grin:


Well, this snake did NOT like an inquisitive eight-year-old getting so close. It coiled up and hissed at me. I guess it's a primeval thing, but that single hiss scared the bee-jeezus out of me and I stopped in my tracks and kept perfectly still.


My neighbors were just coming out of their side door. The missus screamed her head off. The mister took one look at the snake, then ran back inside the house, leaving his screaming wife behind. The snake evidently decided I was harmless and it went back to its former activity of slithering along the driveway.


By that time, more neighbors were coming over to see what all the screaming was about. They saw the snake and began discussing whether or not it was poisonous.


"Well...it ain't got no rattles. It ain't no poisonous rattlesnake." said one.


"Yeah, and it ain't in the water, so it ain't no cottonmouth neither. My cousin Jimmy done got bit by one of them thangs and it almost kilt him!"


"Wutcha reckon it is?"


"Could be one of them python snakes like what they got over at that high falutin' pet store. You know, them thangs that eat whole dogs and chickens?"


"You reckon? It don't look big enough to swaller no chicken."


Meanwhile, the missus was still screaming and I was slowly inching along behind the snake, watching it carefully.


The husband finally came out of the house with one of those long-handled edgers used to trim the grass along the sides of the driveway.


"Wutcha gonna do with that, Mister?" asked one of the neighbors.


"I'm gonna kill that sucker!" he responded.


Step by step, Mister and all the neighbors crept up on the snake. The snake was unconcerned and was making its way toward the street. Missus finally quit screaming and ran into the house. We heard her call 911 and hysterically describe the snake as at least 12 feet long and yes, it was definitely poisonous. No, no one had been bitten yet, but it was just a matter of time before someone was, and would the police please hurry.


We followed the snake as is reached the end of the driveway. Mister tried to get up behind it with his edger, but the snake decided it didn't like the edger and it twisted its head back and stared at Mister, hissing in anger. Mister turned very white and backed off. "I'll let it get a little further down the road before I kill it." he said. The other neighbors nodded their heads in agreement.


The snake must not have had very good eyesight, because it slithered right over the drainage grate next to the driveway, then fell in with a splash! We all gasped.


The police arrived then and were a little irritated that the giant snake had escaped.


I was happy...until I had to go to the bathroom that evening...and I thought about that snake somewhere in the sewer system...slithering around...  :scared:


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After getting various descriptions of the snake from all the neighbors, the police determined that yes, indeed, it WAS a poisonous snake...a copperhead...and they told us that we should be careful of any snakes we come across.


Unfortunately, copperheads are one of the most common poisonous snakes in North Carolina. They can be found anywhere and everywhere!

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Thank you, Hillbilly hiker!  I can still hear those crazy neighbors standing around discussing it like that.  :rofl:

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Copperheads are one of the most colorful snakes. They arent a large snake and from what Ive read are not aggressive unless threatened. You cant mistake the copper color of their heads and back. A lot of snakes hiss and rattle their tails that doesnt make them poisonous but warn you to back off. When any doubt exists just keep your distance. Since the snake jumped into the water I would rather think it was a water snake but who knows.

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Did it look like these two I came across while geocaching in Connecticut?




After doing a little research, I learned that copperheads will freeze when startled, as these two did. They are timid and will flee and only attack it cornered and can not escape.


Those are definitely copperheads, OFG.  I've seen quite a few of them over the years.  The markings are unmistakable.


I think the snake in my neighbors driveway was a copperhead.  It was a big one, but not 12 feet long like the Missus believed.  :grin:

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