Sunday, July 6, 2008

My Gardner Snake Buddy!

Living out here in the country, I’ve yet to get used to snakes. I don’t mind sharing my space with all creatures big and small. Yet when my immediate close proximity is invaded by a slithering snake underfoot, I get totally terrified. I gasp and stop my stride in mid air, taking great lengths to avoid stepping on one, even if it’s a small garden snake.

Our garden snakes live and hibernate under our huge cut log wood piles, and are often seen sunning themselves when the weather turns warm. Due to all the rain we’ve had, I’ve found them everywhere including my flowerbeds, by the pool, and in the backyard. Photo of my snake buddy above taken when hanging out clothes in the backyard today, he scared the crap out of me! I'm sure I scared him too, approaching him in my abrupt manner. I keep forgetting he suns himself there! Snakes blend in well with their terrain, and are hard to see until you are almost upon them. He crawled into the dog box and let me get a nice close shot.

The Gartner snake, or garden snake, or gardner snake is a Northern American snake, completely harmless, and typically found in American gardens, which is the origin of it’s name. The garden snake varies in species adapting to many different ecological habitats, on land or in wetlands close to streams. Living in a damp, wooded area, snakes are drawn around our home!

The San Francisco gartner snake in an endangered species, sporting red and orange patterns and a red head.
Don Robertson has a wonderful site on these stunning rare snakes.

Gardner snakes eat slugs, earthworms, insects, leeches, lizards, spiders, amphibians, birds, fish, and rodents.
Ribbon snakes, mine strongly resembles an Eastern Ribbon Snake not sure exactly what he is, eat small fish, tadpoles, salamanders, small frogs and toads, and insects. They swallow prey whole like many other snakes do! Maybe the reason why our toads have disappeared this season. Ribbon snakes rarely bite, but will emit a foul musk from their anal glands. My husband picked one up not too long ago, and it urinated on him, thus the foul musk!! I love living in the country, I see things here I never saw in the city. I’ve embraced a deep, profound love and respect for all living creatures!


Jo Janoski said...

Oh, I hear you! You ought to see me jump and shriek when I see one. They zip around so fast, that's what really scares me.

Jo A. T.B. said...

Yes they do zip around fast, I know we scare them as much as they scare us! Still haven't gotten used to them after 18 years. Lived in the city most my life, never saw one in town! :)

ochikeron said...

jo! I don't think I can get used to this...
I can't be afraid of cockroaches...

>>we scare them as much as they scare us
You are right!
Why shouldn't I think in this way...

Jo A. T.B. said...

Hello Ochi,

I don't like cockroaches either, they often come out of the logs we burn in the Winter. My new kitty likes to catch them, so I don't have to worry too much! Snakes don't bother me much, just forget where they hang out, and get startled. :)

K.C. said...

I just envy everyone who lives in the country. In the mountains. In the wilderness of any kind.

BUT, I just could not do it. We live in an area that was recently developed. So, it is one acre lots with trees surrounding it. Yeah, there was a snake in our front bed the first day we moved in. I have still not put so much as the first peice of mulch in that bed. I don't even look down when walking across it the front sidewalk. I am even scared to put flowers in there for fear of what might be lurking.

I have been thinking of getting a pet snake, just to help me get past my fear. We live near a lake, so I have to know that it is inevitable. It never occured to me when we moved in... Now, I am thinking of the city.. an apartment of some sort.. seems silly, but gives me the willies...

I envy you being able to get so close... Like I said, I envy everyone who lives so close to nature.. if I could, I would be out in it all the time.. it's the "critters"...:)


Jo A. T.B. said...

Hello K.C.

I do know what you mean, I don't walk in the woods too much when the trail is grown up. If I do I have jeans on, so nothing can bite me.

I'm getting used to being here in the country, I look out and there a cow pastures and green hills and I realize this my piece of Heaven. One I share with all God's creatures, every one of them have a purpose and right to be

In fact I found little bunnies hoping in my flowerbeds, too darn cute. I definitely could get used to this life, in fact live my days out to die here! :)

Joyce Ellen Davis said...

This is one of the reasons I *heart* you! We are sort of soulmates--us and Albert Schweitzer!

Jo A. T.B. said...

Albert Schweitzer is an inspiration, and so are you! He certainly has many interesting and convincing theories I can certainly relate to.

"We are kindred soulmates of philosophical evolution!" Jo

"Heart" you too!

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