Snakes in the Grass

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At the height of all the flooding a couple weeks ago, ABC News anchor Diane Sawyer rather famously came to town to stand in waders at the foot of Beale Street and report on all the dramatic developments (or create some, take your choice). Chief among the horrors cited by Sawyer were the impending snake attacks, as the "highly poisonous" reptiles made their way into our homes and bedrooms while fleeing from the flood.

I don't recall having read about any attacks in the past couple of weeks, so maybe we dodged the bullet. I did have occasion this past weekend to head into the woods to try and fish a couple of local lakes. Evidence of flooding was everywhere, most notably in the dead, brown undergrowth in the woods above the lakes, which normally this time of year would have been thick and difficult to walk through. My friend and I caught a few fish — crappies, bream, and a nice bass or three. The mosquitoes were thick, as I suspect they will be all summer, the result of all that standing water. But I'm happy to report that we were not attacked by snakes, even though I nearly walked into this little guy:

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He (or she) is a common grass snake. He was wrapped around a branch in a small bush at about my eye level. I took many photos, but resisted the impulse to grab him by the tail and yell, "Crikey." He was unafraid and very docile, hanging around for several minutes before finally making his getaway:

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