Skip to main content

Be Aware, But Not Afraid of Snakes

Spend enough time outside in the summer months, and it is likely you will encounter a snake. Our first impulse is to get away, or perhaps if the snake is near our home, neutralizing the perceived threat by having the snake removed or killed. Our ignorance sometimes causes us to make rash decisions like this, mostly because we cannot identify the snake or its potentiality to be a dangerous reptile.

There are only four types of poisonous snakes in the southeastern U.S.

  • Rattlesnakes
  • Copperheads
  • Cottonmouth Water Moccasins
  • Coral Snakes
Though it is possible to see a non- venomous snake almost anywhere, most people will never encounter a poisonous one in their lifetime. Learning more about snakes can alleviate some of the fear and anxiety people have, and give them an understanding of how snakes are an important part of our natural world. The presence of a snake-- even a venomous one--  is a good sign of a healthy and balanced ecosystem.

Snakes keep the rodent population in check, which in turn helps to stop the spread of disease to humans and other animals. There was a time when having a snake around the house or barn was seen as a good thing, because the old- timers knew the benefits of having them around. Sadly, we have gotten away from many of the old ways of controlling mice, rats, and chipmunks. Instead of barn cats or black snakes, we resort to poisons that can do more harm than good.

 The snake in the picture is a northern water snake--  non- venomous, but will bite like a dog if provoked. These snakes eat fish and frogs, keeping the balance here on Wildcat Creek. This snake, along with black rat snakes, king snakes, and even copperheads, play an important role in keeping the natural world and us in good shape.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

After Dark

I stayed up way too late last night. Chase called on his way home from work and told me that we were going catfishing. That's usually how things like this begin.

My brand new son- in- law Bryan was going too, although my daughter wasn't crazy about the idea. No worries though, she would stay at our house and await his return. She ended up asleep on my side of the bed until we got back. Apparently, their agreed upon curfew was 11:30, and he did his best to keep it despite Chase's nudging him to stay longer. My son has no concept of time when it comes to fish, whether they are biting or not.

So there we stood in the dark, on a bridge that crosses the Tyger  River. Every creature that flies or creepeth upon the ground was out. The noise from insects and frogs in the surrounding swamp was deafening. Chase was our catfish guide. He'd brought all the rods, bait and any tackle we might need. Chase's bait of choice was chunks of chicken breast marinated in his secret formu…

Her First One

There was a certain air of anticipation that morning as our guide, Captain Charles King, plied the waters beneath us for signs of schooling striped bass. We came to Santee Cooper Country to immerse ourselves in the sportsman's paradise, and explore all the area had to offer. As our boat cut across beautiful Lake Moultrie, the sun was breaking the eastern horizon with a warm, red glow, casting a soft, picturesque light on one of the most beautiful lakes in the South.

The South Carolina Outdoor Press Association (SCOPe) and members of the Georgia Outdoor Writers (GOA) had converged on the Santee Cooper lakes, as they held their annual fall conference at Black's Camp. As part of the group of  writers and photographers that were on the lake that particular morning. My wife, Melissa and I, along with Georgia outdoor writer, Polly Dean, were matched with an experienced guide, a man whose business is to know these waters and the popular game fish that thrive in great numbers there. Ch…

Working Together

My dad passed away on this date, three years ago . I'll admit that I still have a hard time with it, knowing that I'll never see him again or talk to him in this lifetime. You always hear that time heals the heart, and the pain has faded some, but you never truly get over losing a loved one. What I am left with are the memories, for better or for worse. In my head, I can faintly see his face, can almost make out the sound of his voice among the the many others that have stayed with me through the years. Sometimes I try to remember certain things he said, and when I can't, it drives me crazy. There are things that I have wanted to tell him since he passed, but can't. I have questions about things that only he would know the answer to, but I am left wondering now for the rest of my life, with no access to that answer. I've ran into trouble with a car engine, or air conditioning unit, or electrical panel, and my life- line that was always just a phone call away, is no…