I really, really hate killing snakes.
Not because I am terrified of them and afraid to be near them.
Quite the opposite.
I love snakes.
They are beneficial and beautiful animals.
I know I'll get some pushback by the majority of people who read this.
"Snakes are NOT beautiful!"
I happen to think that the patterns and colors on most snakes are quite a work of artistry.
This Coral snake is one of the prettiest.
I know many things about this snake, chief among them is that it is venomous and that anti-venom is no longer produced should a person be bitten.
They do not have fangs and are terribly shy.
Their first reaction is to flee should they be disturbed.
However, if molested by dogs/cats/chickens, small children or teenage boys, they will bite.
This one was being 'poked at' by the dogs this morning.
That's how I knew it was in the backyard.
They have rows of tiny teeth and hang on for dear life when they engage.
That's when envenomation takes place.
The bite is quite painful, but because the toxin attacks the central nervous system, the severity of the envenomation doesn't become clear for several hours. A child (read: grandchildren) could be bitten and we wouldn't even know what it was that bit them. Same with dogs. There are not two tell-tale bite marks like there would be with a rattlesnake, nor is there extreme swelling at the bite site. Rather, the bite would appear as several scratches.
That brings me to the outcome of this encounter.
I'm not proud of it.
In fact, I'm sad.
They are so beneficial, but can be so deadly.
I could have moved him, but didn't want to risk getting bitten myself.
Maybe I should make a tiny version of a snake catching loop that Carson at 7MSN has at her place for relocating rattlesnakes?