Danger Lurks In The Leaves Of East Texas This Time Of Year
This actually happened to me a couple of years ago, right about this time of year I was sweeping up the leaves that had collected on the sidewalk leading up to my front door, when much to my surprise, I uncovered a small copperhead who was apparently snoozing in the middle of that pile of dead leaves. Luckily he was either stunned by my broom or just too sleepy to comprehend what was happening to him at the time but we luckily avoided any mishaps during that encounter.
The thing that shocked me about the whole encounter was that I had no idea snakes would just find a comfy spot under a pile of leaves for a nap. I, like probably most of you, thought they borrowed into some sort of den in the winter for a "hibernation thing."
Apparently, I was wrong, not the first time that's happened by the way.
The experts will tell you that in the state of Texas, we don't have any true hibernating snakes, they do seek out brush piles, leaves, and rocks to get under to avoid the cold, but as soon as the sun comes out, so do they. As snakes are cold-blooded creatures they need the sun's warmth to regulate their body heat, and snake breeding season begins in February.
Last weekend it warmed up nicely and this weekend looks pretty good in East Texas and Southwest Arkansas as well. Just remember during yard cleanup, wear heavy gloves when picking up the leaves or twigs around your house. And be sure you keep a sharp eye out for any motion nearby, the copperhead camouflage disguises them very well.