Wildlife Encounters

We’ve had plenty of wildlife encounters in the past month. In late July, my dog Casey happened upon a skunk while I was out of town. My wife was stuck with the cleanup. Casey still has a funk to her if she’s been out in the heat.

A couple weeks ago I went north to Tennesee for the 2008 BugGuide Swarm. Two and a half days of bug photography in the Smoky Mountains. I didn’t get much sleep as we stayed up late taking pictures of moths at the lights and then up early to head out for day trips into the national park. The bug photos and IDs are still coming in, but we’ve turned up lots of interesting bugs so far. It was a blast.

Then while cutting my grass this week, I spotted a striking pattern slowly gliding across the rocks that border our shrubbery. My foot on the riding mower was maybe a foot away from those rocks when I saw it. I quickly recognized that pattern as that of a copperhead. I was freaked out about it being so close to the house where my boys play. Fortunately while I was debating what to do about it, I saw the snake slither its way from the house and into the woods out back. It was only about 18" long, but still spooky with that bold coloration. Note to self: keep the grass trimmed and the yard more tidy in the summer!