Snakes in the garden

Face to face with a garter snake by Dendroica cerulea

While  dead heading Queen Anne’s Lace/Daicus carota plants- a weed that I have loved since childhood so that I allow it to flower in my garden beds- a woman walking by stopped to talk about my garden. Then she asked me about snakes. She was visiting from out of state and her host said that there were snakes living on my property because of the stream.  I have written about this stream that dissects my property and have talked about the wildlife that is on my property because of the water.  Yes, I assured her, there were snakes on my property. But they were all beneficial snakes. Yes, all snakes bite if they feel attacked. But the snakes that live near me are non-aggressive creatures- they do NOT ever attack people and will never bite unless stepped on, picked up or forced into a corner or threatened with imminent injury. Even then, all snakes would much rather get away than risk a fight. And the snakes that live near me are not very poisonous, dangerous ones.

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Why I Like Garter Snakes in My Garden

Garter Snake by Atomische • Tom Giebel

One day a friend sent me a photo of a tiny frog on one of her plants. She wanted to know if she should get rid of it. The other day when I was raking, I was raking with a young man who helps me once in a while on my grounds. (These are jobs my sons used to do for me. But where are they now when I am getting too old to do it by myself? Married and living far away so that they no longer have to do these chores and pretending that since they moved out the trees must have stopped shedding more leaves.  Why else wouldn’t they be rushing over to help me rake so that l wouldn’t have to spend money to hire another youngster :-)? )

While raking the young man saw a snake and asked me if he should kill it. He said that he didn’t like snakes. l gave him a resounding, ” NO do not kill the snake!”- just as I told my friend that her frog or toad was something she is lucky to have in her garden.  This summer I saw the first toad in my garden. I used to try to coax toads to live in my garden by bringing in toads from a friend’s backyard. She lived close by so I thought our environments were similar. But the toads always seemed to hop away. At least, I never saw them around. But I always wished that toads or frogs would adopt my garden. In the spring one of my favorite night choruses is of spring peepers that are singing in the property that is behind my property.  This is what I believe my friend found on her vegetation.

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