By Stephen Sorace
Published July 28, 2019
Life is short, but especially so for one bug.
Charlton McDaniel had been in the forest to kayak under the moonlight on July 17 when he said he noticed a molting cicada on a tree stump. He took out his camera to capture the moment the insect would emerge from its outer shell -- but a copperhead slithered along and interrupted the photo shoot, he wrote on Facebook.
McDaniel said he twice scared off the intruding reptile, but the hungry snake kept returning until it grabbed the cicada on the third attempt.
The 42-year-old said the encounter “fascinated and captivated” him. Several photos showed the snake unhinge its jaw to gobble up the bug.
"I got really close, less than a foot, with my iPhone once it started eating it," he told the Springfield News-Leader. "I knew that while it was swallowing it was really vulnerable and couldn't bite me."
Once the copperhead became aware it wasn’t alone, the animal finished swallowing its meal and slipped back into the forest, McDaniel said.