Jay C. White Cloud wrote:Hi Tina,
I am not suggesting that folks promote venomous snakes or other "wee beasties" around there property, yet I will share the following.
These snakes like Agkistrodon, and Crotalid, both can be lived with just as well as other species. Yes you do have to be more careful, but only because of the potential...not the actual elements of having them around. I have asked plenty of folk that will tolerate having snakes around...if they do not touch them...how often these snakes "bite them,"...which is usually never. Venomous snakes are the same way...they do not want to bight....and I would rather have them that a over abundance of feral cats, as the later is not good for the environmental balance of the biome they are in.
Again, I am not saying you "have to" live with these animals...just don't kill them or support those elements (like cats) that do kill them out of the natural context of a normal "prey and predator" relationship. I loved my copperheads, and they never ever offered to bight me or folks I showed them to (when adults). I also had to protect my larger breeding females...as the many hawks I raised and had living on the property also loved them......but in a much different way...which offers the proper control method for the environment...as did my king snakes...
Jay C. White Cloud wrote:
I am sorry Tina, we will have to agree to disagree on this point......feral cats, whether neutered or not, have NO bearing in permaculture or sustainable and balanced living within a biome. Snakes and rodents are what are suppose to be there...not cats, and I don't believe I am too, out of order, to point that out.
Cats simply are not part of our ecosystems, and suggesting they are is inaccurate. I love(d) my cat(s) as I did my dogs...they are not part of the ecosystem...do not belong in it without me...and are not a native member of the types we have here...Our seven species of feline is all we need and all that should be running loose...especially if permaculture is the intended target. Again, my apologizes if you hold a different view, but I can't support you position...not even a little.
Tina Paxton wrote:
I'm hoping that when I put in a pool or two and some swales, that the skinks will come live here.
will keep you in mind when I have any questions regarding snakes.
Would you get the antivenom after you got bit?
Did you feel that the effects of the venom were lessened after you got bit more?
As an herbalist, I really need to focus on effective remedies for snake bites. One friend who got bit by a copperhead regretted taking the antivenom, I guess it doesn't work as well the second time.
Michael Longfield wrote:I want to implement hugelkultur on a broad scale on our farm. I am torn because of our large copperhead and rattle snake population. If they explode on our property it could be very unsafe for children, dogs, and workers.
Snakes love mulched beds. Snakes love hugelkultur. Snakes love permaculture.
Embrace it and get some antivenom?
Jay C. White Cloud wrote:Hi Michael,
I can understand your feelings more than most...on several fronts...
One I have been in hospital 5 times for snake bites (no I am not really that dumb...I use to work with about 500 a day at one time in my younger life.) I also lived and went to highschool in Charleston Illinois splitting my weekends between Rock Climbing and snake collecting south of Carbondale, around Pomona.
I won't even begin to suggest that these animals are not potentially lethal...they are...and so are trees which kill more people each year either directly from working with them or indirectly by just falling on us. Truth is venomous snakes can't hurt you if you don't screw with them, and the statistics are pretty clear...folks like that work with them are the prime target, the folks that molest and kill them are the next on the list of who gets bit...then...unfortunately are children that try touching them...The last is what we should focus on and ways to mitigate not only the snakes become an issue, but use (you) to them...
Jay C. White Cloud wrote:I will answer any questions you have in as detailed way I can, and if you feel the need to really "get into this" feel free to call me...and I really mean that...
"Drift fencing" is the first line of defence if in an area that is heavily populated with these scally folks. My garden had them all around it, as my mound gardens (todays hugelkultur) had several breeding dens in them. In my case is was to keep these little guys in...not out. I didn't mind them and was use to working around them...once acquainted (I do not recommend this to anyone) they calmed right down and would even come over to see what I was doing. If you start feeding them by hand (silly me) they become very bold and quite...well...friendly. I was never bitten by any of the tame venomous snakes I have ever worked with. Only wild, injured, or frightened.
"...the only good snake is a dead snake..."
Bryant RedHawk wrote:In the USA the easiest way to tell if any snake is venomous is to look at the head, then the coloring. We have only one native venomous snake in the USA that is not a pit viper, the coral snake.
Pit Vipers have a triangular head and it is easy to spot this one feature quickly. They also have thick bodies, unlike most of the non-constrictors, vipers also have keeled scales (ridge in the middle of the scale) but most folks aren't going to get that close to one to be able to see this detail quickly.
Bryant RedHawk wrote:The easiest way to not startle any snake is to walk heavy footed. If you spot a snake, just give it some room to leave and it will usually do just that, leave in any direction but yours.
The only snake I've ever seen be aggressive to the extreme is the Water Moccasin or Cotton Mouth (same snake just different names in different areas of the country). The can be very aggressive and the bite is pretty painful, personal experience and yes I do capture them for others and move them to an area near my land which is perfect habitat for them and there is plenty of their preferred foods there so they tend to not wander once placed there.
As I mentioned previously, I had a lot of copperheads a few years ago but since getting the chickens, ducks, and a few feral cats starting squatting, I've not seen any. Not sure if there is a connection. I'm seeing lots of frogs, toads, and lizards which makes me very happy.
Bryant RedHawk wrote:On my property we do have a few copperheads but they mind their own business and move away as we approach.
God is a Creator of beauty that is for sure. Reptiles are quite lovely if you stop being creeped out long enough to look at them.
Bryant RedHawk wrote:...; Pacific Rattlers, Eastern Diamond Backs, Western Diamond Backs, Copper Heads, Water Moccasins, Gaboon vipers, Australian browns, Tai Pans, Black Mambas, cobras, Corals. Zoos are wonderful places to get to see these magnificent creatures. Most of them are truly beautiful.
Bryant RedHawk wrote:When anyone gives these creatures the respect they deserve, they are not an imminent threat to humans. It always impresses me when people don't react the normal human way, kill what is feared.
Bryant RedHawk wrote:Tina, While it is true that most of the time you will only locate Moccasins in or very near water, they will do weird things on occasion, like cross a road to an area where there isn't any water except where they were traveling from, this is pretty rare though.
I am happy that you are a sentient being, who tries to get along with all creatures. I also know that on occasion it is necessary to protect yourself. I once had to take a puma out, it wanted to eat me, bad decision by the mountain lion.
Bryant RedHawk wrote:Chickens, ducks, geese, and other fowl do like to predate on snakes, as do cats, dogs, etc. They are a good way to keep populations from exploding and as Jay said, they can disrupt the balance, however, nature does have a ways of bringing things back into balance, even if it is by substitution of species. Do watch out for the cats deciding to feast on your chickens and ducks.