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.