One of the things I love about living in the country is all the wildlife I get to see passing through my yard. North Carolina just teems with members of the animal kingdom. When I'm out gardening or enjoying nature in any part of the state, I'm on the lookout.
Some of this wildlife can be dangerous.Our state is home to some of the most poisonous snakes in North America. Copperheads, Eastern Diamondback Rattlesnake, Canebrake Rattlesnake, Cottonmouth (also called Water Moccasin), Pigmy Rattlesnake, and Eastern Coral snake.
I have personally encountered only two of these (thank goodness). I was on a walk through a path in the woods near my house, and a Copperhead was lying completely across my path.
What did I do??
I wrestled it to the death!
No. Not really. I turned around immediately like a frightened princess :) You're not too likely to die from a bite, but it can be very painful and disfiguring, and this snake is the most likely to bite unagitated.
Mr. A also killed one in the driveway once, I believe. I wasn't here then.
The other one was a Cottonmouth. Mr. A and I were on a canoe trip early last spring, and the river was completely under a canopy of trees the whole way.
As we were floating past an outstreched tree branch, we saw the Cottonmouth curled up in a small patch of sun on the end of it. We paddled around it with no problem, and it was still a little chilly for the snake to be too quick to react. I didn't get a picture of that one because I was too busy paddling, but this is what one looks like:
We also have blacksnakes slither through, but those kill vermin and are not venomous, so I like those ones!
In my own yard, most of the animals that mosey on through are turtles and anole lizards. I've seen deer in the backyard very, very early in the morning. But I was probably on my way to the restroom and very bleary eyed, so I have no pictures of them. Good thing we all know what a deer looks like ;)
This is the first turtle that I saw in the backyard. I named him Speedy, and then we let him go :) I got a kick out of it, because I'd never seen wild turtles before.
We also have Snapping Turtles, which are way less cute, and way less friendly. This is one that Mr. A spotted moving across the dirt field adjoining our backyard. He was really cool too, but I kept my distance. He still snapped at us O_O
That turtle had some huge claws on him too!
I love the anole lizards that come around though. My garden is full of them, and like the cardinals, I also call these my Little Buddies. They're a kind of chameleon, so they can change from bright green to dark brown. And when the males are trying to mate, they puff out their necks really huge, and the neck turns bright red. This young one wasn't too skittish:
There are also Skinks, the adults are a dark indigo-black colour, but the juveniles have a bright blue tail. Mr. A had a time catching this one :)
The most amusing animal we've had come through the yard was a pig. I'm sure it took off from someone's farm, but I swear it had little tusks. There are wild pigs around here, but I've never seen one. I'm not in the woods that much ;)
The pig coming...
The pig going...