Baruch dayan emet.* A man was bitten in the face by a snake yesterday in the yard of his Moshav Shavei Tsion home, in Israel's north. He died shortly after an ambulance brought him to the hospital in Nahariya. Jerusalem Post carries the story here. The radio news today added that after waking up from their winter sleep, snakes are especially active and that the venomous ones now have a full load of venom.
Several months ago I was exploring what a bulldozer had done on the edge of the woods several terraces down the mountainside. I was so busy moving into the right spot for some photos and fiddling with the camera that I walked right next to this snake shown above. Only when turning back did I see the viper. I was in a spot where there was no going up or down or around, so I just stood still and prayed hard. After several very long minutes of neither of us moving, I concluded--hoped-- that he was dead and walked on by. Since I'm here typing now, you know he was.
*Baruch dayan emet is the Hebrew blessing we must say first thing when hearing bad news. It means blessed is the righteous Judge.
To see other bloggers' (hopefully happier) animal photos today, visit Camera Critters.
Sunday update: The radio news today announced that the offending snake was a nachash tsefa, like the one in the photo. I think in English it is called "Palestinian viper."