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copperhead camouflage!  RSS feed

 
Judith Browning
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Location: Arkansas Ozarks zone 7 alluvial,black,deep loam/clay with few rocks, wonderful creek bottom!
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I stepped about two inches to the right of this little guy today and didn't see anything until I was in the process of stepping over...........it didn't budge and I didn't screech so I got some pictures before we walked on........amazingly camouflaged!

...It's a copperhead cooling off on our trail through the woods.
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...practically invisible
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magnified.......
 
R Scott
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Location: Kansas Zone 6a
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I HATE SNAKES!!!

But that is a cool picture.
 
Jay C. White Cloud
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I love them and I think they are beautiful...glad you got to see it.

Did you notice if it shook it's tail as you got close? They will do that "fast" to warn large mammals they are there...and really "slow" to attract mice, frogs and other small game...It is such a unique adaptive behavior that is beneficial in both food gathering and in protection from getting stepped on...

Thank You for sharing such a great photo...and a good warning to folks about how cryptic these patterns are...
 
Judith Browning
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Location: Arkansas Ozarks zone 7 alluvial,black,deep loam/clay with few rocks, wonderful creek bottom!
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No tail shake that I noticed...........when stepping over all I registered was the coiled shape and copperhead pattern. Later in the pictures I saw it's head. I think if I hadn't been looking for mushrooms and had been watching the trail I would have seen it earlier....I keep telling myself that because I'm not gonna give up our walks. This year I can actually see the ground clearly after having cataracts removed and lens implants, so I really had no good excuse for not seeing a snake.
Every year I usually have to see a copperhead to get the image planted in my mind and then I see them more easily...same with morels

 
Dale Hodgins
garden master
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Location: Victoria British Columbia-Canada
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I came face to face with three rattlesnakes while climbing a small cliff when I was 19. They rattled and I quickly retreated, down past the signs that warned of their presence.
......
While hiking in Ontario's Bruce Peninsula, a large black rat snake got between me and my three year old daughter. It was close to 7 ft and thick. They aren't poisonous, but can deliver a nasty bite. I told her to get back, while she tried to get to me. She was scared of snakes for a while.They are Canada's largest reptiles.

Another big one is the Northern Water Snake. These snakes have a unique way of warming up after a cold swim. They climb trees and hang in the sun, like fruit. When large numbers gather in one tree, it's a very creepy sight. My dad had a lifelong fear of snakes after stumbling upon a snake tree by the Lucknow river.
 
Vera Stewart
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Location: 7b at 1050 feet, precipitation average 13 inches, irrigated, Okanagan Valley
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I can't see the snake in that photo even though you tell me it's there!

Saw a bullsnake last weekend. I was glad I was with someone who could tell me not to worry about it.

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Judith Browning
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Location: Arkansas Ozarks zone 7 alluvial,black,deep loam/clay with few rocks, wonderful creek bottom!
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It's right in the center of the photo...I think you really have to magnify to see it well. The second pic of it coiled is a cropped bit out of one of the distant ones. I didn't try to get more than six feet close to take the pictures.

There is a puff adder here that looks similar to a copperhead if you don't have them side by side. From what I've seen the puff adder is more aggressive or at least tries to look that way. We tried to teach our beagle the difference....she would 'surround' a copperhead and my husband would remove it from the yard. At times we thought she was bringing them in because of all of the praise she got and the number she would 'find'. No dog here now and I think that is better....we just need to be mindful of the critters....we don't have any here that will bother us unprovoked.
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Vera Stewart
Posts: 241
Location: 7b at 1050 feet, precipitation average 13 inches, irrigated, Okanagan Valley
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Oh, I see it now

Well, if I can't see them (we get rattlesnakes here) then I guess I won't be panicked about them, even if I step over them.

 
Judith Browning
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Location: Arkansas Ozarks zone 7 alluvial,black,deep loam/clay with few rocks, wonderful creek bottom!
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Vera Stewart wrote:Oh, I see it now

Well, if I can't see them (we get rattlesnakes here) then I guess I won't be panicked about them, even if I step over them.



This one was more invisible because it was coiled up...seems like usually they are stretched out (like your bull snake picture) or a little curved so they stand out as out of place a little more....or look like a stick. I really need to mow some more so we can see where we step in the yard at least.

 
Vera Stewart
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Location: 7b at 1050 feet, precipitation average 13 inches, irrigated, Okanagan Valley
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This is probably a crazy question, but I wondered the last time I mowed the yard...is there a chance of..well, running over a snake? I assume that they should pick up the vibrations from a long way away, but how do they know which way to run?
 
Judith Browning
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Location: Arkansas Ozarks zone 7 alluvial,black,deep loam/clay with few rocks, wonderful creek bottom!
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Vera Stewart wrote:This is probably a crazy question, but I wondered the last time I mowed the yard...is there a chance of..well, running over a snake? I assume that they should pick up the vibrations from a long way away, but how do they know which way to run?


Yeah, we've done it at least twice with copperheads....and scared another out of the vinca that surrounds a plum tree from mowing around it in circles. We have a small push power mower that we use to keep the paths through the yard mowed and a bit elsewhere and I try to watch carefully. I think the motor probably does disorient them.
My husband uses a scythe on the bigger areas...and I'm not sure that he's seen a snake doing that...I think they would have more time to slip away unnoticed.

We only see, maybe 5 or 6 poisonous snakes a year...many more that are not, but it seems like here it's only copperheads that we hit with the mower occasionally and we mow really high.
 
Jennifer Richardson
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Location: Columbus, Texas, USA (Colorado County). Zone 8b, verging on Zone 9. Humid subtropical, drought prone
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Nice! Ours like to hang out in the oak leaves that collect around the drain pipes that go under out sidewalk, and they are stealthy little suckers.

This is going to sound kind of "out there," but I find that I almost always detect snakes with my "snake sense" before I see them...I will sense that something is up, stop, and then eventually spot the snake. But I have really bad eyes (I mostly only notice things by the way they move or a general sense that something is not like it usually is, and then can eventually see the actual "thing" that I am looking at/for), so maybe others are more likely to actually see them! Anyway, my snake sense has saved me more than once, so I won't knock it, even if it sounds kind of "woo-woo."
 
Will Holland
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Location: CT zone 5b
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Yesterday I recorded a couple of videos of a crow fighting a copperhead in my yard. I'll try to post it later if I can!
 
Vera Stewart
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Right, now I'm less enthusiastic about mowing the lawn.
It's interesting that you seem to only hit copperheads, maybe it's because they're more confident in their abilities to see off a threat then the other snake?
 
Judith Browning
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Location: Arkansas Ozarks zone 7 alluvial,black,deep loam/clay with few rocks, wonderful creek bottom!
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Vera Stewart wrote:Right, now I'm less enthusiastic about mowing the lawn.
It's interesting that you seem to only hit copperheads, maybe it's because they're more confident in their abilities to see off a threat then the other snake?


It's not that often.......not every year....the number I mentioned is how many we see a year not how many we hit. They just aren't aggressive and lay still usually or try to leave....I think they probably try to strike the mower though.

I know, though...I'm having a hard time getting back out to mow...first it was the rain, then it was too hot and now I have images of snakes everywhere. We've let a lot grow up and I like that but we still need paths through to different areas so the ticks aren't so bad and we can see snakes.
 
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