You can bury a lot of troubles digging in the dirt.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Extra, Extra: A Snakey Story

I don't dislike snakes. I don't mind nonpoisonous snakes in my yard. I know they're beneficial and all that. This snake though has terrorized us for two years (This would be the third.). It made its home in the deck at our pond that houses the skimmer. Pat told me it was a copperhead. At first, I wasn't sure I believed him, but he seemed certain. Every time Pat had to clean out the filter and basket (which is pretty often), he had to pull off the hatch, not knowing if the snake would be waiting for him (it liked to curl up on top of the skimmer where it was warm). He tried several times to surprise it and kill it, but it was too fast and got up in the deck before he could get to it. It got to the point last year when we just gave up on our pond. I so loved to relax by the pond and watch my fish, but I just couldnt' enjoy it anymore. We even turned off the waterfall. The snake took over our pond.

I was determined to take back the pond this year. I was going to somehow find an exterminator or wildlife person to get rid of the dreaded snake. As I wrote last week, we just got our waterfall going again. We hadn't seen the snake so far. Yesterday, the pump quit and the waterfall stopped running. Pat thought the filter and basket at the skimmer needed cleaning. He carefully opened the hatch. No snake, so he got out the basket and filter and cleaned them. He was trying to get the filter back in, but it wouldn't go. It was hitting something. The something was...yes, the snake! It had crawled into the pump and met its demise. Pat got it out, and it was definitely a copperhead. Even I could recognize it. Also, it had a big bulge in the middle, undoubtedly a fish. I've had several smallish fish that disappeared soon after I got them. I'm sure that snake ate them.

So here are the grizzly photos. Even though I knew this snake was dead, I was still afraid of it and had to use zoom, because I was scared to get close to it!

Ding dong, the snake is dead (and I don't even have to feel the guilt of killing it)!


Les said...

Hi there. I just wanted to thank you for stopping by and commenting on our new dog. I was perusing your site and found this story fascinating. I don't want to sound like a know-it-all, but I think your snake is a Brown Water Snake. They like wet areas and a main component of their diet is fish. We have a lot of snakes at work and we have often confused this one with a Copperhead. I could be wrong, but take a look here.

karenleigh said...

Thank you, Les! Our snake does look like the Brown Water Snake. The only thing I'm not sure about is the maps of it I found show it in eastern NC, but I live in western NC. I think you're right in your identification and am glad you are!