Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Morning Surprise

I was on my to get the newspaper in the morning and stumbled upon this fellow on the driveway. On this particular section of driveway, there are wooded areas on either side. He was apparently getting his blood moving from the residual warmth of the pavement as he moved from one wood to the other.

From the greenish yellow tint on the tip of his tail and his length (~18 inches), I could tell that he was a juvenile Northern Copperhead (Agkistrodon contortrix mokasen). They are known to us their tail to lure prey such as frogs and insects. As they grow older, the tail darkens in color.

This is only the second time that I have seen one on our property. About 12 years ago, I spotted an adult, and again, it was on the driveway early in the morning. They generally prefer wooded areas where they remain fairly secretive, and we are not active in the woods during the summer due to the proliferation of Poison Ivy.

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