Posts Tagged ‘Agkistrodon contortrix’

There are not very many species of venomous snakes in Virginia, but I managed to encounter one of them, an Eastern Copperhead (Agkistrodon contortrix), while exploring in Prince William County earlier this week will fellow wildlife enthusiast Walter Sanford. I had just climbed over the trunk of a fallen tree when I looked to the side and spotted the snake about three to four feet away from me (100 to 120 cm).

The first shot is a cropped image that shows the copperhead’s eerie eye with a vertical pupil—I was definitely not as close as it may appear. The second shot shows the view that I had when looking through my 180 mm macro lens. The snake, which is pretty large and well camouflaged, appeared to be fully alert and was facing the tree trunk that I had just crossed.

I have read a lot about copperheads since that encounter. One of the tips for avoiding them included checking the other side of logs before stepping over them—I am pretty sure I will heed that advice from now on.

UPDATE: Check out Walter Sanford’s blog posting that includes his impressions of our encounter with the copperhead and some additional photos.

Eastern Copperhead

Eastern Copperhead

© Michael Q. Powell. All rights reserved.

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