I don't, I'll admit, miss the hideous Texas insects very much. I'm Canadian (not that anyone could have possibly missed that by now), and when I first moved down here it felt a little like I was going into the Amazon. I swear this is the conversation I had with the first exterminator who came to our house:
Me: So, when you spray around the house, please don't hurt the spiders, okay?
Bug Killer Dude: Okay!
Half an hour later
Bug Killer Dude: Sorry to bother you, but does the no killing spiders also include the black widows by your front door and in your flowerbed?
I've since relaxed and gotten a lot more live-and-let-live, to the extent that even the scorpions that we still occasionally find cruising across our carpet are part of my catch and release program (and I will say that if I'd known when we bought our new carpet that 'Honey' would be the perfect color to camouflage scorpions I might have gone with beige). We also only have the exterminator come around once a year to kill the fire ants, because they are devious little fuckers and they get everywhere and they bite.
But all this living in harmony with the suburban wildlife only goes so far, so when I saw the surprisingly large snake curled up next to the exercise trail behind our local park, my first thought was that maybe I could just carefully walk past it. And then my second thought was OMFG RATTLESNAKE! And then I dialed 911.
911 had no idea where the park I was talking about was, until I mentioned it was across the street from one of the spanking new and very large buildings. Because nothing exists in College Station unless you can tell people what's right beside it.
Anyway, 911 knew what building I meant (of course), and dispatched Animal Control. I warned everyone in the park not to go on the trail because of the OMFG RATTLESNAKE! then raced home to tell Dom what happened before Animal Control arrived, and naturally he wanted me to take pictures.
The AC person arrived and I showed her where the snake was, which was still in exactly the same place it had been when I first saw it. And it stayed in exactly the same place while the AC person crept up to it, and kept staying in the exact same place while she basically stood over it and told me that it wasn't a rattlesnake. What I thought was a rattle on its tail was just a beam of sunlight. I was embarrassed. /o\
BUT, she was pretty sure it was venomous anyway! I was vindicated! \o/
Here is the snake:
And then she caught it with a grabber thing, stuffed it into a plastic bag (she made sure to leave room for air) and went. Here is her nabbing the snake after it wriggled out of the bag and tried to make a break for it:
Thanks to anna_bird, I found out that this was actually a Copperhead, which is indeed venomous, though will only bite if you hurt it or get right in its face. It had probably been so still in the park because after it heard me coming it was trying to hide.
And now here comes the sad part, because the Animal Control person told me that if the snake turned out to not be venomous, it would be released in the wild (wherever any wild might still exist around here). But if it was venomous, it would be killed. All the new buildings in the area had displaced it, and the only territory it had left ended up being ours. The poor thing just wanted a safe place to live, and because of me it was going to die. Obviously a poisonous snake can't be where people are going to take their dogs and small children, but it's just so unfair.
...Not that I hope I run into any of its friends.