Philip warned me never to pick up a baby copperhead, since they don’t know how to let go, and so inject all the venom they have. I couldn’t resist. Unlike last year, I thought I might see what the chickens would do. They went berzerk, all chanting in chicken-talk: “Kill the snake! Eat the snake! Rip it to shreds!” What mayhem! One chicken grabbed the snake and ran. Here’s the result, fast and furious, a blurr of blood and scales. The snake hadn’t a chance.
I did find some killer vines with leaves (and thorns):
UPDATE: On second thought, and having looked through umpteen zillion snake pictures, I’m thinking that the snake is an Eastern Fox Snake, a constrictor that will eat anything it can get its mouth around, including rabbits and… and… chickens. At least the eggs! They get to be six feet long. The second one I’ve seen at the hermitage. Non-venomous. O.K.! I’m happy for them to get the rats and mice, but not the chickens or the eggs.