Snakes!

Hello again!

Hello again!

Snake-watch continues. My new hobby is staring at this tree:

Which as you can see, can be viewed from many vantage points at our house!

Which as you can see, can be viewed from many vantage points at our house!

The snakes' tree seen from the living room

The snakes’ tree seen from the living room

From the front porch...

From the front porch…

Can you spot the snakes WAY up there? (top of the picture just to the left of the middle)

Can you spot the snakes WAY up there? (top of the picture just to the left of the middle)

Pretty sure this one is a female

Pretty sure this one is a female

And that this one is a male

And that this one is a male

Baby says "they are good climbers!"

Baby says “they are good climbers!”

Honey...

Honey…

I'm home!

I’m home!

Home, sweet home!

Home, sweet home!

I asked Babyzilla what they should be named and she said “Tongue-y” and “Tongue-y II” Hhahahahaha

Don't fall on us!!!

Don’t fall on us!!!

Amorous...

Amorous…

Snakes!

Snakes!

The snakes are at it again!

The snakes are at it again!

They are about 30-40 feet high here!

They are about 30-40 feet high here!

This picture amazes me!!!

This picture amazes me!!!

Snakes in love

Snakes in love

From the Missouri Department of Conservation Website:

Overcome the Fear of Snakes

Some people have such a dread of snakes that they actually avoid going outdoors to fish, hunt, hike, or picnic. Others kill every snake they see. This is too bad, both for the people who let the fear of snakes keep them from enjoying nature, and for nature itself. It’s relatively easy to avoid direct encounters with snakes, and all snakes โ€” even venomous ones โ€” help control populations of rodents and other pests. Getting to know the kinds, natural history, and distribution of Missouri’s snakes can help you overcome your fear of them and appreciate their role in nature.

Missouri’s Wildlife Code Protects Snakes

Few Missourians realize that all snakes native to our state are protected. The Wildlife Code of Missouri treats snakes, lizards, and most turtles as nongame. This means that there is no open season on these animals, and it is technically unlawful to kill them. There is a realistic exception, however: when a venomous snake is in close association with people, which could result in someone being bitten. We hope that more people realize that snakes are interesting, valuable, and, for the most part, harmless.

Snakebites are Rare

Contrary to popular belief, snakes do not go looking for people to bite. In fact, snakes are more afraid of you than you are of them. As Jim Low says in his Snakebytes blog post, “Snakebite ranks just above falling space debris as a threat to human life.” Read his post to learn more about who gets bitten by snakes, when, and why.

***

Last night walking out the front door I almost stepped on…

AGGGHHHhhhh! Copperhead!

AGGGHHHhhhh! Copperhead!

Hasta la Vista

Hasta la Vista

RaaaAAAAAgggghhhhH!

RaaaAAAAAgggghhhhH!

From the Smithsonian National Zoo website:

Copperheads are social snakes. They may hibernate in a communal den with other copperheads or other species of snakes including timber rattlesnakes and black rat snakes. They tend to return to the same den year after year. Copperheads can be found close to one another near denning, sunning, courting, mating, eating, and drinking sites. They are believed to migrate late in the spring to reach summer feeding territories and reverse this migration in early autumn.

***

Needless to say, I am not pleased with the idea of a communal copperhead/black rat snake den under our front porch!!! AGGGhhhhhhh!!! Baby named the copperhead “Teeth-y”!

***

Males are aggressive during the spring and autumn mating seasons. They try to overpower each other and even pin the other’s body to the ground. This behavior is exhibited most often in front of females but this is not always the case. These interactions may include elevating their bodies, swaying side to side, hooking necks, and eventually intertwining their entire body lengths. Copperheads have been reported to climb into low bushes or trees after prey or to bask in the sun. They have also been seen voluntarily entering water and swimming on numerous occasions. (source)

Camouflage

Camouflage

From the Missouri Department of Conservation Website:

All venomous snakes native to Missouri are members of the pit viper family. Pit vipers have a characteristic pit located between the eye and nostril on each side of the head. They also have a pair of well-developed fangs

Note the shape of the pupil. The pupils of venomous snakes appear as vertical slits within the iris. Our venomous species all have a single row of scales along the underside of the tail.

Looks like something from Game of Thrones!

Looks like something from Game of Thrones!

Missouri’s venomous snakes include the copperhead, cottonmouth, western pygmy rattlesnake, massasauga rattlesnake, and timber rattlesnake. The western diamond-backed rattlesnake and coralsnake are not found in Missouri. The most common venomous snake in Missouri is the copperhead.

Forces of Nature

4 thoughts on “Snakes!

  1. Pingback: Pictureless Post | Spy Garden

  2. narf77

    You really do appear to have the ideal conditions for snakes on your property Ms Spy. If I didn’t know better, I would think that The Spy was a snakophile and was seeding the place with rats and mice to attract his paramours!

    Reply
  3. Pingback: tnkerr-Writing Prompts and Practice

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