Thursday, November 19, 2009

Small Grey Snake

I did not expect to see a snake in mid November! Usually they are hiding away from the cold, but it just has not been cold the last few weeks- and after more of days rain this snake came out into the morning sun to heat up his cold blooded body. It was a rather small snake and very well camoflauged into it's surroundings- so well in fact that i had no idea i was sitting about 8 inches from it, while i was scraping some sap off the bottom of a pine tree.
Look in the pic below and see if you can spot it?
It's scales were mainly a grey color but there were tan bits and a tan belly. It was highly alert about me being there, it's tongue never came out, it didn't move and it took one breathe to my every 5. Watching it breathe made me forget about everything in my life I think is important, the movement was mesmerizing & beautiful.
Does anyone know what kind of snake this is? It seems rather common here, especially near creeks and spring water.


Panne said...

just a common water snake. they are only aggressive if you really mess with them. they also squirt a really foul milky substance as a defense. you can usually smell them when you are close to one. older specimens usually have a diamond pattern similar to a water moccasin or copperhead. totally harmless

the smell is similar to the smell of a water moccasin and copperhead. both are different color variations of the same species. one likes water, one likes the highlands. both are poisonous. the younger ones don't have much venom control which makes them more dangerous.

you also have a few species of rattlesnakes you may want to keep an eye out for. i've been getting reports from various people around the country that they no longer rattle as a warning. they seem to have figured out that rattling gets them killed.

at this time of the year snakes get cranky and sluggish. it doesn't get quite cold enough there right now for them to be dormant.

if you didn't see the snake until you almost sat on it, what else are you missing?

it is all about awareness grasshopper.

Leslie wears organic clothing and plays in dirt said...

It didnt shoot anything milky white at me, thank gawd, and it didnt stink. I think it knew i hadnt seen it till the last minute. I see more then most people but i am certain i miss alot, as nature probably intends for me to do. :) I find that snakes are exceptional at being invisible.
We have plenty copperheads here, and rattlesnakes - the mailman even showed me a pic on his cell phone of a tremendous rattlesnake he saw at someone's mailbox down the road! I have seen the Corel snake here too, under my fax machine about 5 years ago!!!
I find that certain areas the snakes are more aggressive and plentiful - always near alot of water.

Panne said...

the water snakes will only squirt when captured or pinned down. and it's usually more of an ooze than squirt.

the rattle snakes wouldn't last long with me in the neighborhood. lots better than possum any day.

the moccasins, rat, runners and water snakes taste like rotten fish street pizza.

coral snakes are really shy, houses aren't their gig and they don't dwell in your range. not saying it isn't possible, but highly unlikely. you sure it wasn't a little scarlet king snake?

they act like rat snakes and will invade your home if they are on the hunt. not very aggressive nor fearful. they make good pets if you're a snake fan. good for a back up to the cat during the winter mouse invasion.

Leslie wears organic clothing and plays in dirt said...

Hey Panne- There is a specific type of coral snake that lives in this region and it is not commonly seen - if you look on the National Wildflife Federation region by region guide you can see it on the list of snakes here. The house it was in is not what you might imagine as a traditional house - it was my "snake house" in Marshall NC - a pond almost an acre big was up the hill from the tobacco shed house, the water poured out into a waterfall & creek - inside the moist "house" was every type of snake you have ever thought to see... i literally had snakes climbing out the walls and onto my sofa, kitchen counter, hanging off the porch, etc.
The coral snake was not it's non poisonous look alike - and after the fax machine discovery my cats annoyed it till it left out the back door i left open for it's escape. While i lived there, my cats were bit by snakes 4 times, 3 cats. One got sick and died from never fully recovering- the others i learned to keep juicing the wound and let it heal after the infection was out enough to let the skin heal over. The first one to be bit, i didn't know, and had let the skin heal over and it caused a bubble of infection that nearly killed the cat.

gretta said...

Your snake house story is going to give me nightmares.

Leslie wears organic clothing and plays in dirt said...

Hey Gretta!
Oh no, but that was my favorite house :)