We took a walk today looking for birds but instead found an early rising snake. Seems very odd to see a snake on March 7th. We were walking along the hiking trail while coming off the ridge and oddly enough the conversation was about my dealings with the use and preparation of snake anti-venom. Most of the snakebites in our area are from copperheads and hospitals stock the modern anti-venom that comes from a sheep herd that has been injected with small amounts of venom. Previously, the anti-venom was isolated from horse serum and caused (from what I hear) about as much problem as the snakebite themselves.
The snake in my photo today isn't dangerous, I think it is a black racer. The key is the eye, a poisonous snake in our state will have slitted pupils, or so says online guides on Kentucky snakes. I would hate to be that close just in case (notice that the photo exif shows the 35mm equivalent of a 750mm lens. hahaha!).
This one still has dirt crusted around his eyes, I think he may have just emerged from the winter hiding place.