Musk mallow and my rapid increase in heart rate!

Sunrise: 06.22 am   Sunset: 07.54

Walking through Hoo Wood this morning, totally absorbed in my search for bugs in the bushes, I heard what sounded like gas escaping from an aerosol can. I tried unsuccessfully to locate the source by moving my head in various directions. Finally, my gaze fell to my feet. There on the ground in front of me, rubbing its body against one of my boots was the largest adder (our only venomous snake) I have ever seen in my life. At a guess, it was just short of a metre long, and well into an aggressive striking pose. My heart rate went through the roof when my dog decided to sniff it. Spike has not had the pleasure of meeting a snake, and it was plain that he didn’t know what to make of it. I am sure that he had no idea of the pain the adder was capable of inflicting on him. Through quivering lips, he let out a low grow. In a flash, I grabbed Spike’s collar and hauled him away from a very dangerous situation.

Adders are, by nature, docile creatures that avoid confrontation at every opportunity – this one was sunning itself on the track and surprised at our approach. Snakes don’t like being stepped on.

IMG_562730TH AUGUST 2013

Musk Mallow.

19 Comments on “Musk mallow and my rapid increase in heart rate!

  1. I know. I was more concerned about Spike than getting the shot. The adder didn’t hang about for a photo. It would be an excellent image, though. Hoo as in owl. 🙂

    • If the snake had not hissed so loudly I might have stepped on it, and it might have bitten me. It worked out well in the end, and no harm was done. 🙂

  2. Oh wow!! I’ve not seen an adder since I was a kid up on Boxhill. Understand your concern for Spike. Adder venom isn’t very dangerous for us but probably would have been nasty for a little Welsh Spaniel.

      • Don’t think you’d be very happy either! Our last King Charles, Toby, was obsessed with the hedgehogs that lived under the shed, so much so that we had to fence it off! He managed to get hold of a youngster one day and wouldn’t give it up even though the spikes had gone right through his jowls. I had to prise his jaw open. Silly dog came off worse than the hedgehog!

      • No I wouldn’t be happy, which is why I acted quickly to get him away from the adder. Spike hasn’t forgotten; every time we pass the place where the snake was sunning himself, he sniffs the ground. 🙂

    • It was me who decided that Spike should not aggravate the snake, Phil, by heaving him away from it. 😉

  3. What a brilliant record for the area Mike! Adders are few and far between in the county now.

    • There was very nearly one less, Dom. Fortunately, I didn’t step on the adder, Spike didn’t eat it, and it didn’t bite me or Spike. Perhaps the three of us are now a little wiser. Ha ha! 🙂

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