Sandbox forum: Sending A Warning--Look Out For Snakes. Pictures Included.

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Name: Avedon
NE Tex (Zone 8a)
Daylilies Cat Lover Hummingbirder Region: Texas Salvias Bee Lover
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Avedon
Jun 5, 2016 10:46 AM CST
Yesterday I was out in one of our daylily beds deadheading and just enjoying looking at the flowers. In one of the thickest sections of growth, I was lucky to see something move. It was going between some of the daylilies, and then it stopped moving. I knew it had to be a snake but not the usual black ones we see in summer and not patterned or the color of a copperhead. I moved around to get a better look, the color was brownish gray with a cross--hatched pattern, and I could just see a pattern of some kind on the belly. Thank goodness I moved back and left, got my husband and son. Son checked the computer, said it might be an Eastern Texas rattlesnake, but it is venomous; therefore, we had better dispose of it. My husband shot it with a .22 caliber pistol a couple of times, thought it was dead. When he used a hoe to remove it from the daylilies, discovered the snake wasn't dead yet, and it bit down on the hoe blade and we could see the venom coming out. The snake was finally dispatched by the hoe--scary stuff. Then, checking some more on the i.d. of the snake, decided it was really an eastern cottonmouth, more poisonous than copperheads. I am so lucky I didn't stick my arm down, for it could have bitten me, and I don't know the survival rate of poisonous snake bites. Here are the pictures--hate snakes and snake pictures--stop now, don't look.






Thumb of 2016-06-05/Avedon/d3c2de
This shows the crosshatch pattern on the top.


Thumb of 2016-06-05/Avedon/90317b
Highly patterned on the belly
Name: Debra
Nashville, TN (Zone 7a)
Daylilies Cat Lover Butterflies Region: Tennessee Seed Starter
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shive1
Jun 5, 2016 11:59 AM CST
That is one scary looking snake! So glad no one was bitten.
Name: Laura
SE Michigan (Zone 5b)
Daylilies Region: Michigan Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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twixanddud
Jun 5, 2016 5:36 PM CST
YIkes! Sounds like you were very fortunate, I hope that's the last close encounter you have with one of those. We only have one kind of poisonous snake in Michigan and I have never seen one., thankfully Mostly what I see in my flower beds and in the yard are garter snakes and once in a while, a snake skin (ew, creepy!).
Name: Maryl
Oklahoma (Zone 7a)
Cat Lover Roses Daylilies Container Gardener Plant Lover: Loves 'em all! Cactus and Succulents
Region: Oklahoma Enjoys or suffers hot summers
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Maryl
Jun 5, 2016 5:55 PM CST
Gives me the willies. Last year after all the rain in late May I found a snake curled up in a saucer under a pot. It was certainly not as large as yours, but it thought it was. It kept striking out at me the whole time I was trying to move it away from a curious cat. Turns out it was a Texas Brown Snake and harmless. I verified ID with our wildlife department and they told me with a straight face that next time I saw a snake look at its eyes and see if the pupils are round. Round pupils means non poisonous. So did you look at it's eyes before you shot it? (just kidding of course). I'm happy you weren't harmed. Those cottonmouths are one of the more agressive of the poisonous snakes in our area. I'm glad it's not around to harm anyone else on your property...........Maryl
Name: Daniel Erdy
Catawba SC (Zone 7b)
Permaculture Sempervivums Hybridizer Xeriscape Plant and/or Seed Trader Organic Gardener
Bee Lover Daylilies Region: South Carolina Garden Ideas: Level 2 Herbs Region: United States of America
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ediblelandscapingsc
Jun 5, 2016 8:45 PM CST
Thanks for sharing, that's some scary stuff. I'm glad no one was bit. Snakes love hiding in high grass, the bad thing is large clumps of daylilies work just as well. I see snakes between my pots from time to time so watch out at nurseries that have their containers on the ground. Hopefully everyone has a safe year this year and can avoid venomous snakes, scorpions, and spiders along with other garden hazards this year like West Nile, Zika, Lymes disease, and Chikungunya. Even small pest like ticks and Mosquitoes can be just as dangerous as the venomous things in our gardens. so watch where you walk, and place your hand and slap on some OFF if ticks and Mosquitoes are present. Thumbs up
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Name: Avedon
NE Tex (Zone 8a)
Daylilies Cat Lover Hummingbirder Region: Texas Salvias Bee Lover
Butterflies
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Avedon
Jun 6, 2016 7:26 AM CST
Hello, everybody, thanks for your comments. Maryl, it is absolutely true that the experts will tell you to look at the eyes and also the shape of the head. We looked at the head and it was triangular, which indicates venomous snake. Also, the picture on the computer sealed the deal for us. We won't kill anything unless it is a total menace. If this snake stayed out by the pond and ate gophers, it would probably be alive today. Daniel, you are right to bring up all the other things that can harm us. We do have black widow spiders around here, those definitely have to go, and occasionally, we see ticks, not too often, thank goodness. Mosquitos are a given, but we are fortunate to not have many of those. We have the bat patrol at night and martins in the daytime and early evening--just love watching those birds work. Even so, it just takes one bite to make a person seriously ill or worse. Stay safe everybody so you can enjoy your gardening.
springfield MO area (Zone 6a)
I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Plant Identifier
Frillylily
Jun 6, 2016 9:24 AM CST
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_fatal_snake_bites_in_t...

according to this, (accuracy?) about 7-8 thousand people in the US are bit ea yr by venomous snakes, and there are 5 who die. There is a list of the bites, the peoples names and such, some are quite amusing. "bit while pulling up his pants" Blinking okaaaay.

Almost all of them are bitten camping/river or at religious services (people still do that?!)

A few bitten by their 'pets'. One at least used his pet cobra to commit suicide in a Lowes parking lot....

Edit to say most of the deaths are from rattlesnakes and quite a few people refused treatment.
[Last edited by Frillylily - Jun 6, 2016 9:25 AM (+)]
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springfield MO area (Zone 6a)
I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Plant Identifier
Frillylily
Jun 6, 2016 9:32 AM CST
While looking through this it seems more than 5 die ea yr, but maybe they are only referring to the ones who seek treatment and still die anyway. Obviously if you don't get treated you will die, so it would be kind of moot to add those to the stats because you don't know if they would have died or not? Many of them suffered anaphylactic reaction to the venom and that is what did them in.
Name: Daniel Erdy
Catawba SC (Zone 7b)
Permaculture Sempervivums Hybridizer Xeriscape Plant and/or Seed Trader Organic Gardener
Bee Lover Daylilies Region: South Carolina Garden Ideas: Level 2 Herbs Region: United States of America
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ediblelandscapingsc
Jun 6, 2016 4:50 PM CST
After telling everyone to be careful I go and run over a yellow jacket hole with the mower Blinking so here I am waiting on my wife to bring me some benadryl home from the store. Those little buggers got me good too it felt like cigarettes being put out on me. I figured I'd take a break from outside until she got back so here I am and just to add to what I was saying watch out for bees and wasps too.
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Name: Glen Ingram
Macleay Is, Qld, Australia (Zone 12a)
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Gleni
Jun 6, 2016 4:53 PM CST
Are yellow jackets native or invasive?
Name: Daniel Erdy
Catawba SC (Zone 7b)
Permaculture Sempervivums Hybridizer Xeriscape Plant and/or Seed Trader Organic Gardener
Bee Lover Daylilies Region: South Carolina Garden Ideas: Level 2 Herbs Region: United States of America
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ediblelandscapingsc
Jun 6, 2016 5:14 PM CST
I'm 95% sure they are native to the Eastern US but there may be similar ground dwelling wasps elsewhere.
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Name: Barb
Quincy, FL (Zone 8b)
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Dragonkeep
Jun 6, 2016 6:08 PM CST
We usually catch and rehome them to a preserve or some wilderness. While I don't especially want them on my property and a danger to my critters, they aren't real common, and they do have a place in the ecosystem.
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Name: Larry
Enterprise, Al. 36330 (Zone 8b)
Region: Alabama Composter Garden Photography Garden Ideas: Master Level Plant Identifier Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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Seedfork
Jun 6, 2016 8:42 PM CST
I feel for you, I have done that on several occasions and yellow jackets do pack a punch. I have always been very lucky not to receive any more stings than I did and mostly I have been on the riding mower when I did encounter a nest of them in the ground.
Name: Donald
Eastland county, Texas (Zone 8a)
Region: Texas Enjoys or suffers hot summers Raises cows Plant Identifier
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needrain
Jun 6, 2016 8:42 PM CST
Ouch! Multiple stings are painful. There's a type here that builds a multi-storied nest under old tree stumps. Those paper nests are the neatest wasp nests I've ever seen. They have to do a lot of work to excavate the hollow and then build those stacks of nests. I got stung big time the first time I flipped out an old stump because I got a glimpse of that nest. I wanted a closer look, but the wasps didn't much like it. In the end I collected the nest and kept for a long time. It had five tiers and had really graceful architecture. Hope the stings go away soon.
Donald
Name: Maryl
Oklahoma (Zone 7a)
Cat Lover Roses Daylilies Container Gardener Plant Lover: Loves 'em all! Cactus and Succulents
Region: Oklahoma Enjoys or suffers hot summers
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Maryl
Jun 7, 2016 1:05 AM CST
Just in the news the other day was a story about an Arizona Hiker being stung to death by more then a thousand bees. As they used to say on the police show - "It's a jungle out there"............Maryl
Name: Cynthia (Cindy)
Melvindale, Mi (Zone 5b)
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Region: United States of America Region: Michigan Vegetable Grower Daylilies Hummingbirder Heucheras
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Hemlady
Jun 7, 2016 5:19 AM CST
I saw that news story. I bet those were those African killer bees. They swarm their prey.
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Name: bron
NSW-Qld border Australia
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bron
Jun 7, 2016 7:27 AM CST
When we lived in Potsdam NY my daughter was stung by a yellowjacket. She was about 4 yrs old and her foot swelled enormously. I felt bad and wished it had got me instead. She is 35 now and when I asked if she remembers it: "Yes. It was not a very fun thing."

One of my neighbours there had to carry stuff with her always as she had become so allergic to bee stings.

I think some people die from anaphalactic reactions to antivenins. I think more people die from horse injuries than from snakebite. In Australia you can be fined many thousands of dollars for killing or capturing a snake in the wild. There is a defence in pretty reasonable circumstances. But no need to kill most of them, and it's usually dangerous to try and kill the very venomous ones. But it always rattles me to see a snake, except pythons, which keep rats down. They are a good reminder to remain vigilant for the deadly ones.
clifton, n.j. (Zone 7a)
applevalle
Jun 8, 2016 5:44 PM CST
Ughhhhh! I'm going to have nightmares just seeing the pics. of that snake. Thank goodness just about all we have around here are garter snakes, but when I was young we used to camp & fish at Falcon Lake, in Texas, & my uncle had a run-in with a rattler. Another time my dad put on his shoes in the morning & there was a scorpion in one & he got bitten. I had a tarantula jump off a bush onto me ( also in Texas). I do love Texas, don't get me wrong, but I could sure live without some of it's critters!
Name: Avedon
NE Tex (Zone 8a)
Daylilies Cat Lover Hummingbirder Region: Texas Salvias Bee Lover
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Avedon
Jun 8, 2016 6:25 PM CST
Clifton, guess what? I love Texas, too, but I could do without all of these too.
Name: katie
Mulege, Mexico (Baja CAliforni (Zone 11a)
katiebear
Jun 12, 2016 12:32 PM CST
I just got stung while hanging laundry. I think it was a hornet - we have lots of them. We also have rattlesnakes but they run (?) from us faster than we do from them. I have a little venom sucker which I got for the occasional scorpion bite. I average about one bite a year and they can be nasty. I used the sucker after one bite and it pulled out a visable drop of venom. It might be good to have one carry around with you when the snakes are active. katie

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