Three of my department’s programmers joined me for my stroll today, and we took my usual circuit through the wilds of suburban Fairfax. The first half of our stroll followed the usual trails, and had the usual effect of making those of us with allergies sneeze like there was no tomorrow.

Then we came to the pond I have mentioned in earlier posts (like Bard’s World: Hot snow!) and it was glistening in the dappled cloud of the day. As we strolled along the wooden boardwalk beside the water we spotted not one, but four Northern Water Snakes. Two looked like full grown adults, being about three feet in length, the other two were smaller, and much narrower. They viewed us with some casual interest, terrifying one of my collegues, before they slowly slipped into the water from the rushes and swam off.

On my return to the office I wanted to identify the snakes, and so googled “Virginia” “snakes”, and found that rather than the two or three species found native to Britain, Virginia is fairly slithering with these creatures. Even worse, some of them are poisonous too, such as the Northern Copperhead which greeted us on the front step of our home the night our offer was accepted! You can see the full list of our slithering friends for yourself at Snakes of Virginia.


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