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Adder Snake Texture
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Adder snake that put me in hospital

Snake Bite Story

Courtship/mating pair of adders

Adder Snake (Vipera Berus)

I have a lot of respect for adders as I was once bitten whilst filming during my early years of photographing nature. It was my own fault stupidly holding a camera in one hand and a stick in the other, to distract the snake so I could film a side view of its head. I was photographing the very annoyed hissing snake at a local forestry commission. I thought I was filming from a safe distance, how wrong was I. Feeling safe looking through the camera lens I ended up in the snake's striking distance one lightning-fast strike its fangs struck me between my finger and thumb. Within a few minutes, my armpit and back were aching. When I arrived in Hospital, not helped by pumping my left hand on a heavy clutch on my powerful motorbike I felt very ill, I was doubled over with intense pain, massive swelling of hand, arm, face, neck and throat, and a severe headache.

My eyes had dilated and when laying on a stretcher I was suffering from convulsions. After the doctors injected me with anti-venom my body felt like it was on fire. There were many doctors helping me and ironically it was me who had become the subject of there photography in the hospital. With a camera in hand and many doctors and nurses called to watch me suffer as an educational trip, I was not happy. Later the pain eased and I spent the first night dipping my hand in a bowl of ice to try and keep the swelling down as my hand looked like a blown up rubber glove, as well as being connected to a drip feed. The second day my hand was up in the air in a sling. I remained in the hospital for one week and was off work for another two, suffering from hallucinations and other effects. It surprised me to be so ill over something that happened in a fraction of a second, the hospital told me the snakes fangs probably went straight into a vain.

It shows just how little venom a snake needs to kill its prey. The picture of the black adder above left is the adder that attacked me, the story has been published in a photo magazine and published on disk for students education, probably teaching them to stay away from adders if nothing else.

Well, my picture tells a story, friends and work colleagues all had a good laugh with funny cartoons of me and the snake stuck to walls, Some thought it was cool except my wife who was not pleased as she hates snakes.