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Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Fear and loathing in Mississippi...


If there's one thing I hate about living in the South during warm weather, it's got to be venomous snakes. I do not like them, I do not want to be near them and I do not want to see them. However, I am married to a man who insists on bringing them to the house so I can take a photo every time he kills one, which he did day yesterday.

While sitting down at the pond after a walk with the dogs (a morning routine for Don) he noticed my little dog Aislainn had spotted something in the shallow end. Going to investigate, Don saw a huge water moccasin (also known as a cottonmouth down here in the South) slither out of the water and raise it's head up.

Water  moccasins are known to be aggressive and whenever we see a snake taking a stand, instead of fleeing, we immediately go on alert. Don approached this one cautiously and was able to pin it down by stepping on the snake's head and then killing it with a stick.

Don has killed cottonmouths with sticks before and even killed one at the barn with a screwdriver! This was the biggest one he's ever killed though and I have decided he must get a pistol for Father's Day. He's very lucky he didn't get bitten and so is little Aislainn. She's barely 15 pounds soaking wet and if that big nasty snake had gotten her, Aisliann would not have survived.

As you can see in this photo, the water moccasin's tail narrows suddenly. This is one way to identify a moccasin should you come upon one while out walking. They are usually short and stocky too. This one was very stocky and about three and a half feet long. I'm telling you...it was humongous!

We don't condone killing wildlife on our property, in fact, we're a certified Wildlife Habitat (even have a sign on our gate). However, we do make an exception when it comes to venomous snakes. We've had two dogs bitten by water moccasins. One spent a week at the vet's and barely survived. We don't want that to happen again and the dogs are always with Don when he's out and about. Fortunately, the dogs are fairly cautious about snakes and the ones who have been bitten (by venomous or nonvenomous snakes) are extremely cautious with a snake.

We've been very luck to have never come across a copperhead or rattlesnake and last year we didn't see any water moccasins. Now we've got them in the front yard pond! I've already informed Don that I will not be going to the pond in the evenings until we have our first snow.

I suppose I could go down there and take his pistol with me, but if I saw a cottonmouth as big as this one I'd be shaking so bad I would probably shoot myself in the foot! Then the dogs would have to call 911 because I'd be snake bitten, shot in the foot and having a heart attack!




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