Weird and Scary


RichPB (richlife)

TVWBB Wizard
Sometimes things happen that you just don't expect -- like @LMichaels medicine issue.

Last night just after full dark, I stepped out into the small courtyard that ends at my grill. I mainly wanted to see how the two solar lanterns looked there newly hung outside the doorway since there is no other light in that area. The lanterns do cast a nice, soft, yellowish glow, but I didn't get to see the "look". They don't shed enough light for me to see the unexpected. A couple steps in I felt a small prick in my flip-flopped foot (middle toe) and seemed to stumble over something that shouldn't have been there. A little shocking to look back in the dim light and see a coiled copperhead waiting for another strike. Fortunately, I was then beyond it's reach, though as I slipped by to reach for a rake, it tried again. It was a good-sized copperhead, hard to tell length all coiled up, but clearly a fat, mature snake over 3 feet long. With the rake, I was able to pick it up at distance and fling it over the fence into the woods where it belongs.

Ah, yes, the foot. It was clear to start that somehow it had not actually embedded its fangs, but just sort of bounced off with just shallow, surface-skin deep marks. Did it hit the thong and deflect? Did tripping over it cause a miss? I don't know, but I didn't seem get a dose of venom. Doing a quick internet search, I confirmed that if I had gotten a venom injection it would quickly HURT and there was no pain. So I skipped the trip to the ER and finished watching the rather weak western I had in progress. This morning all is well, but I did get a closed up pic of my foot that you can see below. I circled the two fang nicks which are about 1/4" apart. The left side on didn't even have blood, but last night showed a bit of redness through the skin.

A new priority will be to get a real light out there as well as trying some home made snake deterrent (ammonia water and/or Epsom salt around the small yard. It's funny. We lived deep in the woods nearby for over 30 years, and while I've seen plenty of copperheads (some really up close and personal!), I've never had a striking encounter (though one of my dogs did). Living here in suburbia for six months, we've already had two copperhead "incidents" (the other was a young, probably mated pair looking for a den in our yard -- again, over the fence). For years, I backpacked alone all through the NC/TN/VA mountains and took the time to learn about venomous snakes. Copperheads are the least worrisome and are very non-aggressive. But you probably should avoid stepping on them...

Snake nick.jpg
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I don't understand, but I do know. Lots of folks have this fear of snakes. I always thought they were cool, but not to play with -- or around. This is minor to me (not so much for Sheila) except for the possibility of little dogs getting bitten. Years back, my 60 lb dog got a swollen jaw from messing around. No big deal. Little dogs can get dead. But same problem with coyotes, foxes and raptors or owls.
I will take the grizzly bears, black bears and cougars that I run into hunting any day over venomous snakes and spiders! I guess it's all what you grow up with.
In the woods, I agree. But we once had an interesting (scary) all-night incident with a black bear in the Smokies that could change your mind. Idiot people caused, of course. And you might want to add skunks in your bunk!
I’ve always thought snakes are interesting but I want nothing to do with them. I won’t touch them and the giants in Florida I just can’t do.

That’s crazy. I think I would die from a heart attack before venom got me, no thanks.
We had a skunk decide to try and live under our porch. We lived in the country and had a horse farm. I had a Kennel with 4 Labrador and 2 Shepherds. I was field trialing the labs then. All six of our dogs got skunked! Our 3 cats climbed up the porch and got on the house roof to avoid the skunk.

We spent all night cleaning the dogs. I couldn't stand the smell of ground coffee for months because it was very similar to the skunk smell.

We bought a live trap and caught the skunk and released it about a mile away from our place. Well, it returned the next day. Further research informed us the you have to release them at least 5 miles away. We had other skunks come by but all the critters would "scream" to get in the house.

I have another funny story but I would like to hear some other stories.
l don't want to hijack this thread. We should start a thread about skunk stories!
I hope they are not scary ones. For some years I have been a lover of skunks and have a nice collection of stuffed and ceramic skunks.
When I was a kid, my mom and I walked into the house from a movie or the store or something. Went to the kitchen, which had a room off to the right where the garage door was (to the right) and the laundry room as well as a second bathroom that always had overflow junk in it.

I can remember the skunk walking out of the bathroom and mom shrieking and shuffling me out asap. I think it was just looking for yummy cat food.

On skunks. Anyone ever seen a red phase skunk…?
Mine was during a week long backpack on the Appalachian Trail the length of the Great Smokies National Park. The Park required that on the AT you use their 3-sided, stone shelters with solid chain link fencing on the 4th side for overnights due to the black bears. (I remember a black bear clinging to that fencing, screaming and trying to shake it down.) One night after hikers had settled into our sleeping bags on their hardware cloth bunks, a group (5-8?) of skunks started sniffing around the campfire ring and anything they could find while we strangers (8 maybe) all huddled in our sleeping bags waiting for them to go away. RIGHT! Tiring of slim pickings, they found their way through gaps in the fencing onto the bed frames looking for gold (food). Who was going to get sprayed? You have to understand that this went on a half hour or more -- skunks climbing all over us. At some point one of the skunks discovered the sweat impregnated 18x18" foam pad I used as pad for sitting at lunch and under my hips at night. It decided that pad smelled/tasted good and began tearing at it with sharp claws and teeth. Another fact. My sleeping bag was hand made (stitched) by me from a Frostline kit and was very special! Ask how much I wanted this skunk to tear at the pad and my bag while jamming its nose and jaws under me while all these other skunks were doing similar things with the others. Tell me -- who is going to yell or worse!!

I swear it was all night, but maybe not. Eventually "my" skunk gave up and jumped off. I risked pulling the pad out to throw on the ground-- nobody got sprayed and the skunks eventually gave up. But I still have the shred-edged pad as a reminder ot a pretty scary night...
Yeah. I agree. It's hard to change who you are. I'm not phobic about it, but I don't like spiders -- or roaches. But snakes are innocuous to me.
I’m fine with snakes. When I was young living in Montana, I was hiking in the local mountains with a friend of my Dad’s. About halfway back down the trail, my Dad’s friend said “what’s on your boot?” It was a baby rattlesnake that must have struck at me and got stuck on my boot.
I do not like spiders. Anything that can walk upside down on the ceiling (except lizards) I’m all for instant euthanasia.
I'll take the cold and the snow compared to all the snakes, spiders and gators. Thank you very much!
I gotta say that nothing scares me more than cold and snow. I lived in the Vermont mountains for two years in early high school. No Way! Afterwards, mid-, windy thirties in Fayetteville, NC, had me swearing I would never again complain about heat. In 60 years I haven't!
I set a bowl of food in my garage for a stray cat that usually comes by a couple of times a day. The problem with doing that is I also get visits from skunks, possums, and racoons occasionally. The skunks and racoons just eat the food and leave. The possums like to stay in the garage and I often have to persuade them to leave. I seem to have a fair amount of wildlife for living in the suburbs of Chicago. I have even occasionally seen deer and coyotes in my yard. Thankfully, no snakes.