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Funny you should mention that, Tango.

Last night I was thinking about copperheads, since I'd already caught two in my yard within a week, as I was reaching to pick up some paper on the ground next to an outdoor shower platform where I caught the last one.

My mind was on the shower platform -- pallets with plywood on top -- and I didn't see this little darling blended into the leaves and the rocks on the porch wall about six inches from my hand as I picked up the paper.

I don't know who moved fastest to get away -- me or the snake.

I got my snake tongs from the truck and retrieved it from the corner of the building to where it had retreated.

It's now day-napping happily under a dog bowl of water in a 55-gallon steel drum under a shade tree, awaiting transportation to a wilder area of the woods.

Until then, I go by occasionally and thank it for not sinking both fangs in me when it had a perfect opportunity -- and reason -- to do so. Such an event would definitely have suspended work for a good while on a lot of things I need to do around here.

Copperheads are not aggressive snakes and will strike only when they feel threatened with no escape or when touched or stepped on. But each snake has its own temperament and some copperheads are slightly more aggressive than others.

Venomous snakes can hurt you seriously and I guess I really don't have a problem with inexperienced people killing them on their property. Most of the four venomous snakes indigenous to the U. S. just want to get away from you when encountered, but they can't be left where people move about to surprise you on some future occasion when you might unintentionally cause one to bite you. My latest copperhead adventure could just as easily had a painfully different ending.

And I suppose I could never convince such folks that there's virtually no risk, once a little copperhead or other small dangerous snake is seen, to taking a broom and sweeping it into a large garbage can for removal to more snake-friendly environs -- with the lid on, of course. Snakes are amazing escape artists.

But I'd be reluctant to recommend that for rattlers and cottonmouths four feet or longer.

Yes, LWB, rattlesnake especially is excellent fare -- good, solid white meat and very tasty.
 
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