I was driving home late last night when my headlights flashed on a distinctive shape in the road right in front of my house, strangely near the deer incident of earlier this week. I thought I’d seen a snake, but not just any snake. So I turned around and drove back again, and once I determined the creature was dead, I figured it was worth further investigation.
Allow me to stop right here and assure you I don’t suffer from necromania, a suspicion you’d be forgiven for having if you’ve read this blog for a while and noted its frequently occurring theme of dead animals. My interest in this particular bit of roadkill was strictly scientific: I could tell from the car that this wasn’t an ordinary black snake, which thus far have been the only snakes I’ve seen on the farm.
After I’d parked the car and grabbed a flashlight, my dark, drive-by suspicion was confirmed. A copperhead—the first I’ve seen around this property in the two and a half years I’ve owned it. It was a young one, less than two feet long, and the front half of its body was squashed and the skin flayed. But there was enough nonR-rated material left to make a positive i.d.
The snake could have been crossing the road, or now that night time temperatures are dropping it was perhaps soaking up some heat held in the warm pavement. What’s unusual to me is that so many of my acquaintances are recently reporting copperhead stories, including one man who was bitten by one that got in his house, and another woman whose dog was just bitten on the face. Many people are rather folksily conjecturing that last month’s earthquakes has the snakes out and on the move, but who knows? Seeing this snake tonight, though, was a good reminder for me to remain vigilant around my place, particularly when I am out in the dark.