Copperhead Encounters

We are firmly in my favorite time of year.  Unfortunately, within the last two weeks there have been two copperhead encounters.  One had sidled near us while we were on what I lovingly call our 'redneck' porch, the apron in front of our garage, enjoying a lovely evening.  The sun had already set, so we were only illumined by the fluorescent light streaming through the narrow windows of the garage doors.  Crickets were rythmic--an auditory heralding of fall.

Dexter kept looking under my Thunderbird in the most curious way.  "There must be a cat under the car," I said to Mark.  Dexter continued his look--ears forward, tail up, eyes intent on something. It did not appear to be his greeting look for the cats.

"Mark, why don't you look and see if that is a cat under there, because if not, it may be a copperhead."  Mark obliged and looked tentatively, then hurriedly said, "get the animals inside!.  I shepherded all the dogs in and grabbed a long-handled metal scraper by the door.  Our serpent visitor was dispatched to the Netherworld humanely. All I could think of is if I had entered my car, the snake could have bit me on my ankle so easily.

I understand that copperheads are not far ranging, so this was number 2 kill within 8 feet of our home perimeter.  Too close for our comfort.  Just a week later, Mark was weed eating and found another snake nestled in the comfort of the over growth.  That perimeter may have been 15 feet.

Soon the weather will be cool enough to send them underground for the winter.  We live these guys unperturbed if we see them from afar.  But slinking about our house, close underfoot foot for canine, human and feline, is just too much.  I always remember Garvey Winegar's admonitions about these  vipers--and my vigilance has likely kept be bite free and wary of objects of interest by either my cats or dogs.

Dexter has alerted us twice now.  He has earned his keep.

Mark is in West VA riding dirtbikes with his friends.  I'm enjoying some solitude with the pups.


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