Friday night, my wife and I grabbed a small bite to eat at a local favorite restaurant. Sitting outside I discussed with her some of the theories I’d been introduced to by Raymon Grace. A friend had mentioned there was a discussion on dowsing and water energy somewhere in town this week and wondered if I had known more about it? I had not but after some internet searching I found that he was, in fact, stopping through town on an unscheduled talk. Not really knowing who he was or what he had done, I left work and went to the talk. It had been some fascinating and thought provoking stuff.
Those theories is what I was catching up on with my wife while we sat outside and enjoyed a light summer meal on a beautiful evening. Afterward, with no kids in our custody, I wasn’t feeling like heading home and I told her as much. She agreed she felt the same but added that she didn’t want to go somewhere with lots of people. No bookstores or downtown strolling or anything like that.
“I dunno,” I said, “I’m just feeling we need to be outof town, maybe out by the water? I’m not sure why…”
We both agreed on that and, so, I headed us towards the nearby Lake Monroe. I followed my intuition and drove us to a lesser known lake ramp. We got out of the car and decided to walk the small bit of shoreline there. We noticed a black SUV parked to one side of the ramp and a couple inside talking about something. To each their own and so we moved along the water. After only a few feet of shoreline, my wife said, “Look, a snake!”
There, moving right at the edge of the shore, was a three foot long striped snake. I moved to get a closer look and then quickly moved back to give it some space. Being a native of the area and no slouch when it comes to bush knowledge, I was pretty sure it was a copperhead. I told her as much and I pointed out the hourglass bands before it bolted into the deeper water. She asked me if I was sure since neither one of us had gotten a good look at it’s head. “Pretty sure,” I muttered and kept looking for it to surface. Then, a few moments later, it resurfaced, looked at us and started coming back towards us.
That’s when I knew it was definitely a copperhead.
When I was younger and running around the southern Indiana hillside I had a handful of encounters with copperheads. One, in particular, was on a fishing trip when a copperhead decided it took a liking to the three bluegill fish I had on my stringer. As I watched, it approached and firmly bit one of the fish. It then backed off before striking one more time. Thinking enough was enough, I smacked a stick in the water, drove it off and proceeded to take the poisoned fish off my stringer! Except, the snake didn’t like that idea and kept coming back. That’s when it hit me. The snake knew it had a poison bite, was hungry and it knew that fish wasn’t going anywhere. Sure enough, if I simply left it alone, it returned back to the fish and began to eat it.
As we backed up from the shoreline, the copperhead hesitated a bit as well. The couple in the SUV rolled down the window after seeing us retreat. “What is it? Is it a snake?” I told them it was a copperhead and that got their attention. As the copperhead moved down the shoreline but refused to get out of the water, they got out and came over as well.
“I think it has food around here, probably near the water,” I commented, “Or, alternatively, babies.” That was fun because I got to watch everyone take about five steps further backwards. The snake had completely left at this point, turning to deeper water and then reappearing about 40 feet away near a rock overhang. From there, I watched it watching us. I also judged the couple. They were the type that liked nature, most likely loved nature, but obviously not overly experienced with it when it was poisonous and swimming a few feet away.
Keeping one eye on it, one eye on them and one eye on the shore, I found the food in short time. It was, what I guess to be, some kind of buttom sucker fish about 4 or 5 inches long though, to be honest, it resembled more of a leech. I’ve seen a lot of fish and have no idea, for sure, what it was. It had two puncture holes near the tail, was right at the waterline and it was near death. I lost track of the snake (I only have two eyes after all) but did not see it nearby. I wasn’t too worried. There had been lots of noise and I was sure it was just going to wait us out.
About that time the couples’ children appeared from around a point paddling a 2-person kayak. This explained why the couple were parked there and I watched as they beelined the kayak directly to where the fish dinner was waiting.
“Don’t put the boat in there, ” yelled the Dad.
“Why not? It’s where we pushed off?” came the adolescent return cry.
“There’s a snake! A copperhead. Go in over at the ramp.”
Lots of noise followed, paddling, yelling, questions and thumping the boat against the concrete ramp. The snake, I was sure, was more than happy to just snuggle up under a bush somewhere. The family told the kids, the kids thought it was cool and then wanted to see everything. The kayak was put on the SUV and they all drove off. I watched from the rocky overhang and kept looking around for the snake.
About three to five minutes after peace and quiet returned, it’s head broke the water about ten feet from where I stood on the rock. He was swimming his way back to his kill. I pointed it out to my wife and we watched as the snake poked around trying to remember where he left his dinner. I wanted to help him find it but my wife was starting to get a little stern about my antics. I gave up trying to convince her it was alright and we headed back to our own car.
“You know, the only thing those kids had on were flip flops,” she mused at me as we walked.
I nodded. “I noticed that.”
“If we wouldn’t have come here, if you hadn’t followed your gut, those kids would have put in right on top of the copperhead.”
I did the time delay in my head. “Right on top of it while it was eating…”
We both shared a look. We both ran the scenario. “Pretty cool,” I said.
“Pretty cool, indeed,” She replied and once again proved perhaps she should be writing this blog instead of me.
We drove home. On the way home the Universe rewarded us with a killer sunset that was so amazing I pulled the car over so as to better watch it burn.
Pretty cool, indeed.