Zenfolio | Bruce Fellman | Snake at a distance

Snake at a distance

June 26, 2018  •  Leave a Comment

We've been trying, for the past couple of years, to get my eight-year-old granddaughter Stasia off of the bicycle training wheels crutch, and this year, quite by herself, she pulled it off. So today, we took our bikes to a local park for some dirt-road and trail-riding, and, protected by her unicorn helmet, she did just fine. We stopped by a stone bridge to watch the water and search for dragonflies, and as we scanned the gravel and rocks near the bottom, we noticed a very large Northern Water Snake that was also observing the natural world. People around here often call Nerodia sipedon a Water Moccasin, and they insist that the large serpent is poisonous. While our native snake has a bad temper and will bite aggressively when handled, mishandled, or just run into while in the water—I've been charged when I've been swimming—N. sipedon is not closely related to the Cottonmouth, a.k.a. Agkistrodon piscivorus, a bona fide pit viper native of the Southeast, and our water snake is definitely not venomous. It's just bad tempered, so, even protected by helmets, we observed it from a proper distance.


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