Yesterday when I was walking down to the creek I heard Jesse behind me barking his head off. While this happens quite often and usually means nothing, this time his voice was somehow more urgent. Returning to where his barking came from I looked carefully around and under the picnic table near the walkway and at first saw nothing. Jesse was on point looking intently at the space beneath the outdoor table. On this particular table, which is under a large canoe bark birch tree I had placed a number of impatiens in pots and covered them with bird netting to prevent the deer browsing them. Just under the table where the netting lapped onto the ground a medium sized copperhead was inextricably entangled in the bird netting mesh. This has happened often and I was not surprised to see a snake trapped in the netting. Linda thinks I should spread the netting all around in places here we frequent, to serve as a snake trap. I haven't done that yet because more times than not it is me that gets tangled in the mesh, or worse the weedeater! The trapped copperhead was dead but none the less scary with the white of his mouth open and exposed though entangled in the netting, an aggressive posture even in death. We have copperheads here all the time (I am sure) although they are rarely seen. The water snakes that lounge around the koi ponds and sun on the many rocks are much more apparent than their more secretive cousins, the copperheads and the rattlesnakes. Water snakes are disposed of as often as I see them with a 22 rifle with a scope on it, usually with rat shot. The reason is that they eat all the small koi and comets that are born in the pond if I don't. The copperheads and rattlesnakes too are disposed of as humanely and quickly as I can manage, because of all the traffic from us, visitors, grand children and dogs. When I occasionally see a rattle snake or copperhead in the road while driving, which is not uncommon I dodge them to avoid their being injured. Snakes rid the country of many rodents and other undesirable vermin which would over run us otherwise.
In the past when we have run across the occasional copperhead there is always a second one nearby; they travel in pairs apparently. For the next few days (or weeks), I will have to be very cautious because the other copperhead will probably turn up at the least expected moment in the least expected place. Somehow they always do.
Thank goodness for my dogs, who have prevented me from being snake bitten probably more times than even I know! The cats would be a big help too but unfortunately they are usually in the house watching TV.