Tell Me About Your Summer's Snake Encounters
My family has had more snake encounters over the last couple of weeks than we've ever had.
Just last weekend, my dad was talking on his cell phone outdoors when he felt something hit his shoe. He looked down to discover a young ground rattler striking at the side of his shoe over and over again. Luckily, the snake was so small that it couldn't reach his ankle.
A couple of days ago, my husband discovered a young copperhead in our garage, which he quickly dispatched. I'm not one for killing snakes, but if they're poisonous and in my house, they're goners.
I've also encountered several snakes while playing with my kids in the creek by our house. Neighbors and friends have all reported the same. Copperheads, water moccasins and rattlers have been wreaking havoc in my neighborhood and in the yards of many here in the Birmingham area. But apparently, abundant snake encounters aren't only a problem in Alabama. According to various news sources, snake bites and encounters are up in states throughout the country.
I did a little research into why the snakes are out and about in droves this summer. According to this Florida News Channel 7 article and video, hot, dry weather is causing snakes to look for water sources that can often be found next to homes.
According to this article on accuweather.com, drought conditions throughout much of the country, especially Texas, are causing snakes to move about in search of food as well. The article states Texas snakes may be out and about even during the winter months as a result of drought conditions. Snake experts say the drought conditions have dried up the grass that rodents normally feed on. With fewer rodents available, snakes have to range farther from their normal foraging areas. And, if snakes cannot get enough food to build their fat stores, snakes will be unable to hibernate throughout the winter.
I also learned that snakes made a much earlier appearance this year than in years past because of our mild winter. In fact, this USA Today article, which was posted in early June, claims that 2012 has been a banner year for snake bites, especially in California.
So, tell me about your snake encounters this summer. Any close calls? Anyone actually get bitten?