Okay, so remember that photo shoot I blogged about not too long ago? The one where we got to play with those oh-so-cute goats? Well, we were on another shoot last week, at a different location. It was about 90 degrees, but the wind was coming off the water, and it was actually beautiful outside. We got a lot of great outdoor shots. However, being outdoors means bugs, and other creepy-crawly things. The photographer’s assistant was afraid of spiders. I’m not a fan of them either, or anything that makes a buzzing noise as it flies for that matter. And our fearless editor hates snakes.
Soooo…I was setting up a shot, and Ms. Editor goes off on her own to set up another shot. All is peaceful for a few minutes, but then we hear her yell, so we all go running. “I almost stepped on it! I almost stepped on it!” And she’s doing a hopping dance, flapping her hands and making “blech” sounds. (Note: Editor’s reaction may be slightly exaggerated for dramatic effect.) So we look down, and what do we see sunning itself, right there on the stone path?
That’s right, this slithery little guy. “Ohh, that’s a Copperhead,” says our photographer. I don’t know much about snakes, and neither does scaredy-cat editor, but I think we are both doubtful that this is a poisonous snake. Gross, yes. Deadly, no. Regardless of the possible death factor, cell phones are whipped out and pictures are taken.
As we stare at the snake for a few more seconds, we can no longer hold in our doubts. We ask, “Are you sure it’s a Copperhead?” “Oh, yeah, it’s a Copperhead,” confirms our photographer/hunter/outdoorsman/all-around wildlife expert. So he grabs a stick, like the 5-year-old trapped in a man’s body that he is, and starts to poke the snake. The snake, of course, does that snakey-thing, where they raise their body and up and kinda pull their head back. (Come on, I know you know what I mean.) It’s perfectly natural, of course, it’s being poked with a stick. I wouldn’t be too happy, either. So when it pulls its head back, I have a second of, “Uh oh. Maybe it really is a Copperhead, and it’s getting ready to bite us all.” And I’ll admit, I panicked. Just a little. (FYI: I don’t have a high pain tolerance, and I can’t imagine I’d enjoy the initial pain of a snake bite, and then the ensuing pain of the poison as it traveled slowly to my heart.) But after a few more pokes, it slithered off into the bushes. Needless to say, we looked down at our feet wherever we walked and avoided those bushes like the plague for the rest of the day.
Anyway, we finish the shoot and go home. In the evening, I get a text from the editor (That’s right, people, the editor herself texts me. Although the texts are usually telling me to get her coffee and pick up her dry cleaning or take her car to the mechanic, but still.) Her husband looked at the picture of the snake and said it was not a Copperhead, and after a little Googling, it was confirmed that it was a harmless Milk Snake.
Aren’t our lives so very exciting?