Topaz spreading her wings like a baby bird asking for food.

I ran out of mealworms on Sunday for the released baby birds. When I brought the bowl out Monday morning with other food, they were not pleased. Sweetie (the mockingbird) left. Topaz (the blue jay) spit the food out and begged for something else. Later in the day, I offered raisins. Sweetie took a few then left. Topaz filled up with them and left to bury them in the mulch. Then, she came back for more. Sometimes, she removed a raisin from one location to relocate it. (My neighbor and I decided to declare both birds females even though we don’t know. It is nice to use she or he instead of it.)

Sweetie (mockingbird) and Topaz (blue jay) eating mealworms.

I’ve been trying to get rid of the remaining peanuts since we are leaving on Saturday, so I have been putting more on the ground than usual. I have attracted raccoons and a couple deer. The feast will be over soon for these guys.

I was driving out of our little area of the community to run errands today and saw something in the road. That stretch of road often has brown palm fronds lying about and subconsciously that’s what I figured it was. But, as I got closer it moved. I swerved to miss but wasn’t sure I was successful. I looked in the rear view mirror and realized it was a snake. I pulled over to check the snake to see if I had killed it. At first it wasn’t moving. I was only 1/2 mile from home and was considering roping Regis in to help me get the snake and take it to the vet. The snake started to move and I encouraged it to get off the road with a piece of vegetation. I started to take video (below) and as I was doing so, I realized it wasn’t the water snake I thought it was. In the very short video, you will notice the snake does not remain in the center as it dawns on me that I need to get out of there. I could see by the head it was venomous and later confirmed it was a cottonmouth.

We plan to leave Saturday on a 3 1/2 month trip across country and back. We understand that our plans anywhere along the way may change overnight. I have reservations for the entire trip, but my favorite public campgrounds in Washington state are currently closed. I was able to get a backup reservation in a private campground for one of the three planned stays but may not be able to get a backup if the other two campgrounds don’t open by the end of June. The county where the campgrounds are located is authorized to open campgrounds but that doesn’t mean the campgrounds are staffed to do that. We understand that flexibility is required on this trip. We’ll just have to see how it goes.

We have done multiple cross-country trips at this point and it doesn’t seem as far once you do it several times. The worst case scenario requires us to return home without stopping. We have a motorhome and Regis and I can swap driving while someone sleeps in the back. Although we need to replenish food and gas on the trip, we are stocked with everything else we need. If things get bad, Dart may have to share his months supply of dog food with us.

2 Comments on “Cottonmouth

  1. Venomous snakes: another in the list of reasons I am glad I no longer live in the southern US. (Not fond of tornados or mayonnaise either 🤣). I am not scared of venomous snakes — I just don’t want to be surprised by them. I learned to tolerate them because my late, great baby brother Jon loved snakes and frequently had several, some venomous, in cages in our house when I was growing up.

    When he was a patrol officer for the local police, he was always dispatched to handle the snake calls. He kept a pillowcase and a homemade snake stick in his police car. He’d catch them and then release them somewhere away from people.

    Have a safe and fun trip! I’ll be enjoying it vicariously through your posts.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I love to hear when people do not kill the snakes whey they find them. I think people are getting better about that, but it is still a struggle. Snakes are part of the web of life.


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