Copperhead Snake at Wildcat Ridge Hawk Watch | Withme Photography Blog

Three Snakes in Three Visits


Let me say one thing for the record, “I don’t like snakes”.  Let me say it again to ensure that I’m making myself crystal clear, “I don’t like snakes!”  And if  that was vague in any way, let me try to say it a little differently so that I can clear up any confusion or ambiguity. I DON”T LIKE SNAKES!

So, why is it that on my last three visits to the Wildcat Ridge hawk watch, I have had there different snake … “visitations”? I won’t say encounters since I did not allow myself to get that close to them. (There are reasons why it’s handy to carry a telephone lens, ya know.)

First it was the five foot black rat snake on September 3rd. Okay. That was fine. It was actually sort of interesting to see others handle it. (Did you notice that I said “others”?)

Black Rat Snake at Wildcat Ridge Hawk Watch in New Jersey

Black Rat Snake at Wildcat Ridge Hawk Watch

Then yesterday on September 10th, Jeff brought up a little foot long garter snake. Okay. I know that a garter snake is not a threat. This is clear to me. It makes perfect sense, but logic has little to do with emotion and seeing that little thing slither around was definitely an emotional experience. It creeped me out. Unlike the rat snake, this one moved a little too quickly for my liking. But okay. A garter snake. I can handle a garter snake. I’m not a cry baby after all. I can suck it up and endure a little garter snake. Sheesh! After all I’m a grown man for crying out loud. They let me drive a car and everything.

Garter Snake at Wildcat Ridge Hawk Watch in New Jersey

Garter Snake at Wildcat Ridge Hawk Watch

Okay, so that is where we stood when I got out of bed this morning. Then came today and as far as I am concerned, today was a little over the top. I mean – come on. The other snakes were harmless. The other snakes could be played with (by people other than me). Today’s snake was serious business. Today’s snake was a copperhead. This snake can do damage. This snake is not to be taken lightly. This snake can injure and in extreme cases, this snake can kill. In my book, this snake is mean! And it looks mean too! Look in his eye. He’s not playing around.

Copperhead at Wildcat Ridge Hawk Watch in New Jersey

Copperhead at Wildcat Ridge Hawk Watch

I have been visiting the hawk watches for three years now and I have heard talk about snakes. I have been aware that snakes are in the area, I just have never encountered any and I was perfectly okay with that. Now I have three snakes during my last three visits. I’d say that is plenty. I’d say that is more than enough. I’d say that will hold me for the coming week. No wait, that will hold me for the coming month. Check that. I should be good for the rest of the season. No wait. Let me clarify. If I never see another snake again, I’d be more than fine with that. No, seriously. I’m good!

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