Cottonmouth, Bull Island SC


Our guide’s inflection wasn’t the same as mine would have been, that’s for sure. As she leapt out of the passenger side of the truck, she sounded, well, excited.


If I had spotted the Snake! first, I might have sounded more agitated than excited.


We pulled up slowly and watched as it did that odd side-to-side wiggle to move. As we stopped, it stopped, raised its head, opened its mouth, and did something ominous with its fangs. A hiss? Then it settled back a tad, and waited.


Brown and black cottonmouth snake coiled in grass.

Snake in the grass


Close-up of cottonmouth


Pressed, our other guide allowed as how a bite wouldn’t kill you, but it would sure enough ruin your day. Me, I was happy to stay in the truck.

As it slithered under our vehicle and failed to emerge out the other side, I did wonder just a tad uneasily whether it was also a good climber.



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10 Responses to Cottonmouth, Bull Island SC

  1. Jim Robertson says:

    I’d likely stay in the truck with him in that position, ready to strike.

    • Isabel Gibson says:

      Jim – This was a bit lesss excited than he was a few seconds before, when he was hisssing at us. But I was more than happy to stay a distance away.

  2. Ralph Gibson says:

    Tough, blue-collar snakes. Some color varieties can be beautiful.

  3. Tom Watson says:

    Might have more chance with one of your gator friends than this chappy!

    • Isabel Gibson says:

      Tom – Yes, I think that you don’t want to mess with a cottonmouth. Our guide said they wouldn’t kill you, but they’d sure enough ruin your day.

  4. Alison says:

    I just read a book (thanks to Mark) titled “Dispatches from Pluto” Lost and Found in the Mississippi Delta by Richard Grant. Lots of talk of both alligators and Cottonmouth snakes. I think you’d enjoy it, especially as you have first hand knowledge of such things. I was happy to just read it and feel informed!

  5. Mary Elford says:

    Sssnakesss, and smiling alligators, and a metaphor of shopping carts, this week. I think your camera never leaves your side? Thank you for sharing!

    • Isabel Gibson says:

      Mary – As it turns out, not all of these are from the same week in my life, just the same blog week. But the point you make is valid. With a pocket-sized point-and-shoot pocket-sized camera, I’m rarely without a camera. Sometimes I do have to borrow the Big Guy’s phone, though, since I’m a bit lax about carrying mine. Maybe if I thought of it as a camera . . .

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