Monday, November 18, 2013

Snake! Panola Mountain Lake Loop Trail





Richard and I met our dear friends, Mary and Steve on Saturday for a late afternoon walk at Panola Mountain and look what I spotted! A long black snake that was so completely still that at first, I thought it must be dead...but it was completely ensnared in the netting that was beside the trail. (The netting was there to stop erosion on the sides of the trail.)  It was well and truly stuck.  Our friend, Steve pulled out an impressive knife and worked for several minutes to free the snake.  (The photo above was taken, after much of it had been freed.)


 


 This was on such a steep slope that it was even difficult for Richard and Steve to stand, let alone to try and rescue a snake!  Mary and I were on the trail lending our moral support and encouragement..."Even though it's not poisonous, doesn't mean it can't bite"...(Mary)
"Careful, it's very steep, you can fall down, you know!"  (Me)


 
 
 
Who needs super heroes when you have guys like these around?  Do you see where we are here? The  husbands have gotten the snake down on the paved trail (that's the boardwalk just behind them, see it there?) and it is almost free, just a bit of green netting was clinging on...and just at that moment , a man came across the boardwalk, who seemed to be very knowledgeable about snakes and he picked  the snake up by its head in a very expert manner and the netting just fell off. I took the best photo of this man on the bike posing with Steve but I neglected to get his name! So...man on the bike with the dog who helped with this snake, let me know if it is okay with you and I will identify you and show the photo! (Yes, you read that right...he had a dog on a leash trotting along with him!)
 
The man told us it was a king snake.
 
Black king snake...predominantly black with traces of white or yellow spots on its sides. (Lampropeltis getula nigra)  Greek for "radiant" or "shiny" shields.. has very shiny coat, a truly beautiful snake.
All king snakes but especially the black king snake eat other snakes, even poisonous ones, in Georgia, that would be from rattlesnakes, copperheads and cottonmouths.
 
There are 41 species of snakes in Georgia...I am glad we found one of the NON-venomous ones!
 
 If there are any herpetologists out there, then please feel free to leave a comment here!
 
Do you see the eye of the snake in the first photo? Compare it to the eye of the snake below.
Of course, you might not want to get this close to any snake!
 
What about you, would you rescue a snake entwined in netting like this?
 
And hey!  I took all the photos for this post, just goes to show how much I want to take pictures if the other choice is getting close to a snake!
 
 


 

Copperhead (I took this photo in our front yard last July!)







 


52 comments:

  1. Oh my! That first pic gave me the willies! If I knew for sure it wasn't poisonous I would help it out...I would feel bad to leave it tangled in any case. I'm sure he was grateful for your help! This reminded me of the story of the snake who pleaded with a man to help him down the mountain and the snake promised not to bite the man. So the man carries him down and keeps him warm and when they get to the bottom the snake bites him. The man says "hey, you said you wouldn't bite me"..the snake says: "You knew what I was when you picked me up". Hmmm...food for thought today!

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    1. Oh yes! In fact, there is a song that I remember very well. Remember that one? The lyrics were "Take me in, oh pretty woman, take me in for pity's sake...take me in, oh pretty woman, I'm the ssssnake"...of course, she gets bitten and was told the same thing!
      Being from Georgia, I must admit to a fear of snakes but then, we do have some poisonous ones so it is with good reason!

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  2. Beautiful creature! And thumbs up for freeing him/her!

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    1. Thanks! And I will tell the guys you said so! (I stood on the sidelines.)

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  3. You get COPPERHEADS in your YARD?!? This is why I live in Wisconsin. :)

    How very good of your guys to free the snake, and I am glad it was not poisonous.

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    1. Oh yes, we do! In fact, this past summerone of the news reporters on TV picked up what he thought was a water hose in his yard and it was a Copperhead! He recovered but had to stay in the hospital a bit, getting some anti-venom (and his hand swelled up to an alarming size.)
      Steve knew it wasn't poisonous, but all snakes look scary to me, and even if I had a knife, I don't know if I could have found the courage to free it. I think I would have stood beside it and pointed it out to someone else who happened along.

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  4. Poor thing, how lucky for him (or her) to have you guys come to the rescue. Of course I would have done the same, although I probably would not have had a knife with me and therefore my method of freeing the snake would have been to try and unwind him by hand (risking a bite).

    Maybe the park authorities should hear about this. Possibly other animals can get entangled in that netting, too, and they certainly don't want that. Maybe there are other ways to stop erosion.

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    1. Steve tried to move the netting at first, but it was truly impossible. It was as if the snake had been fitted for that netting, like a garment, it was so tightly around it. There are SO many things that are done in landscaping besides the netting that is harmful to willdlife. I am thinking that the use of chemicals is the a major problem for animals with loss of habitat being the top problem. Any wildlife experts out there, feel free to comment, but I think that might be the case.
      Still, perhaps someone will see this from Panola Mountain and take heed for the future! Thanks, Meike!

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  5. I don't particularly like snakes but if I knew for sure that it was harmless, I would probably try to free it. I'm too soft-hearted with animals -- even snakes.

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    1. I must admit to a fear of snakes. We found a small one in the house once (we think we brought it in on a large plant) and my son said that the sound I made when I saw it should be recorded for horror movies...I didn't scream, it was more like a terrified, pitiful moan. Couldn't help it, it startled me!

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  6. Good you guys helped that poor fellow.... Cheers

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    1. Hello, Rebecca! I am sure you would have been thrilled to see this snake. The photos don't do him/her justice, truly a beautiful snake.

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  7. Kay, My mom was so afraid of snakes...she was raised in Tenn. So there's plenty of poisonous snakes there. I do not know enough about snakes to instantly tell the difference, so I leave them all alone. xoxo,Susie

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    1. I remember this expression so well..."Don't go in there, its snaky!" Tennessee is not far away, so like your Mom I was taught to be afraid of snakes! I try not to be, but is hard to shake off those childhood fears.
      xx

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  8. I'm afraid I would not have come to the snake's rescue. They give me the willies. Bravo to Richard and Steve and the big knife -- they did their good deed for the day! Glad it wasn't poisonous.

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    1. I know, I am really the same way...I am just a big chicken about almost everything!

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  9. When I was a child I was not at all afraid of snakes and often picked them up in the woods. We have very few poisonous snakes in my part of Ohio and they are very rarely sited. The last rattlesnake sighting was in the late 1800s, I think. But now......I would probably notify someone in authority about the snake. I am such a wimp and not a risk-taker.

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    1. You are REALLY making me want to visit Ohio!!
      I looked up the info about Stan Allard and Allardale...what a wonderful place!!
      I must admit, I really am a total wimp and you will not find me jumping out of a plane, or bungee jumping or even water skiing!!

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  10. My husband rescued a pair of gopher snakes that had gotten tangled up in some netting we'd put out. They didn't try to bit him,but they coiled around his arm and leg.

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    1. Oooh, what a brave man! I merely pointed out this snake and let the guys do all the work!

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  11. Kay, this warms my heart! What a kind gesture to free that poor creature. A lot of people would not have bothered.

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    1. Hey Martha!
      Oh good! I am glad you saw this post, I knew you would love to see this! :-)
      Wish you could have been with us! For one thing, you would have taken some great photos of it!! xx

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  12. Hooray for the snake rescue! We've had many pet snakes, when i was young and i let #2 Son keep snakes. He goes to the creek to catch them.

    Yes, i would rescue the snake, and when i was a babysitter, i once doctored some kids' pet snake!

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    1. Oh, my friend in Louisiana...it makes perfect sense that you would love snakes too, since you are such a friend to the furry animals as well! xx

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  13. So good that he had a knife to set it free! Great post!

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    1. Oh yes! Steve said at the time, if only he had had a pair of scissors, it would have been even better!
      And thank you!

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  14. I don't think I would have stuck around to notice the snake was entangled in the net! You guys are all brave. And I was also reminded of the story of the person who saved a snake only to have it bite him. Interesting information about snakes and, as always, your photos are great.

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    1. Hard to pass by a creature trapped like that, even if I had been alone, I would have tried to get help for it.

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    2. Hugs to you, Connie, of course you would! xx

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  15. I prefer pics of the crazy lady myself!

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    1. Ha! This time, the crazy lady was the one taking the photos!

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  16. There are no snakes in New Zealand and relatively few in the UK so it's not a problem I'm really likely to encounter. What would I do if I came across a trapped snake? I'd like to think that I'd be humane but......

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    1. It's funny, but there were a lot of people who had passed this snake by, it looked very much like a branch from a tree, it was stretched out in such a way and so still. If you knew it was a creature trapped by something left by humans, I am sure you would get help for it!

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  17. Very few snakes in the UK that are worth bothering about, but I know how scary they can be in other countries. So it's quite disturbing to see loved ones so close.... great pictures!

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    1. Thanks, Jenny!
      You have such great travels to write about, and I tell you about encountering a snake! It was interesting to me though! :-)

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  18. Hi Kay

    Although I am generally crazy about animals, snakes somehow fall on the wrong side of the line and terrify me. As a child, I was fascinated by them and then, almost overnight, the fascination turned to terror. I saw an article recently to the effect that our brains are hard-wired to be very wary of them.

    I would like to think that my better angels would have spurred me to help this critter, but.........

    I honestly reckon that if I was in, say, Yosemite and bears were all around, I would be (perhaps foolishly) fine. But tell me that there was definitely a snake within a 5 mile radius and I would be outta there.

    Henry

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    1. We have a lot of snakes in Georgia, a LOT! So, we were always warned to watch out for them. Henry, if you had seen this snake trapped like this, I am certain you would have tried to get help for it! And by the way, if you ever see a bear, you are not supposed to run from it since you cannot out-run it. You are supposed to play dead...I am full of useful information, aren't I?

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  19. A king snake. Very impressed by that. Great photos. Even more impressed by the close up of the copperhead.

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    1. Thanks for your comment! I must admit that copperhead is scary looking and I can't believe I took that photo, but I did! (Of course, I zoomed in, so I wasn't THAT close, but close enough!)

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  20. Kuddos to Richard, Steve, and bike-dog-man for rescuing the poor snake. Snakes freak me out, but they are important members of an ecosystem, and they deserve compassion as much as the cute critters. I am, again, catching up! And I always kick myself for getting behind on your posts. I enjoy them so much! What wonderful news to hear that Ryan Ferguson is free! And I did so love your words on your dad and Remembrance Day. Poppies were such an important part of my childhood. My sisters have sent me poppies from Canada. I think the VFW does sell them ~ my classroom grandpa got some for my students a number of times. He and I would help my students make paper poppies, and then we would give them to veterans attending our school's Veteran's Day celebration. Oh, and thanks for posting the hymn "Jerusalem!" I love it! I learned to sing it when I sang in our church choir many years ago. Take care!

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    1. Oh, thank you very much, Louise, I really appreciate it when someone tells me that they like the things that I write about!
      There are TONS of more things that I want to write about, but just cannot get my thoughts together enough to do so!
      Hard for me also to read all the blogs that I want to, and I know it is the same for you.

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  21. thats amazing, and what a wonderful act of kindnss, so many would have passed the snake by without a second thought, this is my first visit here but I have joined to follow, I will enjoy coming here to visit we share some blogging friends in common!

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    1. Thank you very much, Laurie! I love your art, it is so beautiful. My most visited post is "Christmas Cartoon and Poem", and the poem is entitled "Owls"!
      Thanks again, and I am so happy to have you as a new follower.
      You have made my day! :-)

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  22. I guess what you did was admirable, but as far I am personally am concerned, the only good snake is a dead snake. Just like Michael Douglas with the snakeskin boots in the movie.

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    1. What I did? I stood on the paved trail and did nothing, our friend Steve cut the snake out, and Richard helped by holding the snake head down with a stick.
      I just took the photos, but I was very glad to see that snake slither away quite unhurt, it made me feel very pleased.

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  23. I've never seen a snake in the wild so would probably run in the opposite direction. I'd like to think I would try to help. A duckling got caught in some fishing line this summer and I did ask one of the fishermen to help it (it was in the water) so maybe I'd do the same for a snake. x

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    1. NEVER have seen a snake in the wild? Honey, come to Georgia and I will show you plenty!!
      Of course, you would have found help for this snake, I am sure of it!
      Very glad you helped the duckling! xx

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  24. YAYAYAYAYAYAY!!!!! That is so awesome!!! I'm so happy you guys freed the snake. I would certainly try (you know I would!) although I don't carry a knife around with me. And i can't believe you got a picture of a Copperhead in your front yard. I found a baby one in my backyard a few summers ago. Scary.

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    1. Hey Audrey! Of course, you know I thought of you after this encounter with the snake, I knew you would like this!
      I also don't carry a knife around me, but maybe I should!!
      That copperhead was scary! I took a photo, and I will be honest with you, I felt that I should try to kill it, but doggone it, look how big it was! I was too scared of it!

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  25. That is so very kind of you all. However, I have to tell you that I'm rather glad we have no snakes in Hawaii. I hope.

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    1. I wonder what it must be like to be near water and not have to think about snakes? It is the same way in England, I was surprised to see folks spread a cloth for a picnic just beside a riverbank, something that I would never do in Georgia!
      (Your "I hope" made me chuckle!)

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