Monday, June 13, 2016
Nothing will get your blood flowing faster in the morning than discovering that you have a snake in your backyard - which is precisely what happened to us this morning.
Since our backyard is enclosed, we normally let the cats out into the yard in the morning to get a fresh breath of air before the temperature starts climbing towards triple digits.
This morning, both cats were staring at a "critter" that was under the patio furniture in the back yard. When the critter moved, both cats jumped back at least 2 feet. On closer examination, we discovered that there was some kind of snake curled up under the table. Since Sharon swore that she heard the thing rattle, she called the fire department. In less than 15 minutes, the fire department had come to the house, and successfully removed the snake.
As it turns out, the snake in question was a gopher snake, and it is totally harmless. In fact, it is beneficial to have them around since they keep down the rodent population.
In North America, there are 50 species of snakes, and almost all of them are harmless. The correct technical name of the gopher snake is Pituophis catenifer. However, there ARE some snakes that you definitely want to avoid.
The 4 types of poisonous snakes are the Copperhead, the coral snake, the cottonmouth, and the rattlesnake.
They look like this:
Although the cottonwood snake is normally found in the eastern parts of the United States, the other three can be found throughout the country. If you encounter any of these critters, the best thing to do is to move away from it, or to let it cross the path of the trail you are hiking on before proceeding.
If you happen to see one in your back yard, the safest alternative is to simply call the fire department.