Water moccasin has catfish for breakfast

Published 9:25 am Friday, June 3, 2011

A water moccasin eats a catfish along the Nottoway near Dockside. -- SUBMITTED

Mother Nature can be a very tough place, as Southampton County’s Erik Neave experienced while fishing on Memorial Day. Erik came across a water moccasin eating a catfish for breakfast.

He estimated the catfish weighed 1.5 to 2 pounds. The water moccasin was about 6 feet long.

He launches his boat on the Nottoway River from Dockside and had seen a water moccasin the day before about 10 feet from where he saw the snake on Memorial Day.

Water moccasins and boaters don’t mix, and Erik didn’t want to run into him on Tuesday.

“For the most part, snakes aren’t going to mess with you unless you mess with them,” he said. “So pay attention to where you step, especially around docks and even in your own back yard.”

Erik said he has seen more snakes this year than previous years. It may be because of last year’s hot, dry summer, but they are out in full force, so be careful when taking in Mother Nature’s offerings.

Yes, through all its beauty and pleasures, Mother Nature can show a tough and deadly side. Some will fight to the death for the opportunity to mate. Some will starve in search of food or water. Some will become someone else’s breakfast or dinner.

The main effort in nature is to gather enough to survive one more day and keep warm until the sun rises.

We as humans have risen above all that, or have we? We have been given a soul and the gift of knowledge, or have we? Speaking as a member of the human species, does our species no longer prey on those less fortunate?

We know we won’t walk this earth until the end of time, but do we leave something good behind? Do we care for those around us and our environment? Do we welcome strangers, or do we keep our distance while checking them out? Are we all about becoming king of the hill, or do we help others along the way?

This I know for sure; the things I see in Mother Nature are real and they are brutally honest.

Thanks for the picture and the story, Erik.

Until next week, stay safe and lend a hand to someone in need. Oh, and watch where you step.

BOB RUDZIK is a Newsoms resident. He can be reached at outdoors@tidewaternews.com.