If you're creeped out by snakes, you may want to make a graceful exit along about now. Come back tomorrow. But Martin H. over at Square Sunshine asked what dangerous snakes we have in the US and here they are, beginning with the Copperhead, of which we have quite a few on our mountain.
Copperheads are venomous but rarely fatal. (I have a friend who was bitten by one and she said it was the most pain she's ever experienced.) They are fond of wood piles and rock walls so we try to be cautious around both.
The darker race of copperheads look a lot like our Northern Water Snakes but Copperheads have the slim neck and wide head of the pit viper. They also have vertical pupils whereas the water snake's pupils are round -- a handy identification reference, if you can get that close.
The other venomous snake in western North Carolina is the rattle snake.
There are many varieties of rattle snakes (rattlers) in the US; here in the mountains we have the timber rattler. Or so I'm told. I've never seen one on our place but that doesn't mean there are none. His scientific name is crotalus horridus but there are few recorded fatalities from his bite.
No Water Moccasins in the mountains, thank goodness. If you ever saw Lonesome Dove and the scene where the cowboys are crossing the river- well, never mind but talk about creeping you out. . .
Water moccasins are also called cottonmouths. When disturbed, they will hold their heads up and open their mouths wide, displaying the pale interior. These snakes are aggressive and highly venomous.
We don't have any Coral Snakes so no need for the rhyme Scouts learn-"Red and yellow -- kill a fellow/ Red and black--friend of Jack."
(The harmless Scarlet King Snake looks very similar, but in the King Snake, the red and black bands are touching, not separated by yellow.)
Coral Snakes sound pretty scary -- related as they are to cobras, mambas, and sea snakes. But they are highly reclusive and non-aggressive. They aren't pit vipers and don't inject venom into their victim -- they literally have to chew it in. I've never seen one in the wild, though I lived in Florida (which has all four venomous snakes) over thirty years.
The pictures of snakes came from HERE
Click the link for lots more information on venomous snakes of the USA.
Or just enjoy a snake-free clump of daffodils.