Wednesday, September 26, 2012

When a snake gets mad

Depends on the species on how dangerous a mad one can be. Still, snakes don't scare me. So when I spotted a long rough green snake (Opheodrys aestivus) stretched across the ground in our front yard, I dropped my broom and immediately picked it up. Naturally, I wanted to show my find to James.

It, of course, did not share the same goal. It wanted out of my hands NOW. Stubbornly, I held onto it while James dashed off for his camera. In the meantime, the green snake writhed and turned and struggled to get away from me. Then.... latched onto my index finger. HARD! "Does that hurt?" James asked, alarmed. No, I replied. The snake's jaws squeezed tighter around my finger. "Are you OK? Are you sure?" James asked. I nodded. 

"I'm taking it to the back yard," I added. Tight as a vice grip, the snake held on.
I figured as soon as I let go of the mad snake, it'd let go of me. Fair trade off. Gently, I set it down in the turk's cap. Sure enough, the snake released my finger and slithered up a branch. "I'm sorry!" I said. It just glared at me.

A bit later, I returned to the turk's cap, where I found the snake, looking a bit bewildered, wound atop some leafy branches. "I'm going to move you," I said, "real fast." Which I did. Before it could find another finger, I transferred my green friend to an elbow-bush thicket a few yards away. Much better! The thick foliage completely concealed the snake. I couldn't see one sign of it. 

But I bet it saw me. And I bet it was still mad. 

At me.


Rock rose said...

Goodness! I would never pick up a snake and if one attached to my finger it would likely be a coral snake.The most I would ever do is take a photograph. Yesterday I pruned back some fig ivy off the top of the wall and guess what was underneath. Ran to get my camera but he was camera shy.

Sherri Stockman said...

Sheryl, how big do these "rough green" snakes get?

Sheryl Smith-Rodgers said...

Adult snakes average 22 to 32 inches long, according to "Peterson Field Guides Reptiles and Amphibians." My friend was probably close to 2 feet long, one of the longest we've spotted in our yard.

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