Thursday, April 9, 2015

There's a Snake in my Greenhouse


Today there is either a black Rat Snake or a Black Racer in the greenhouse. You know people always overestimate the actual length of a snake but this one is at least 30 inches long.



Earlier when I was out there I heard a commotion and looked in that direction in time to see a thin black tail disappearing under the water barrels. When I returned empty pots I had just planted the contents, I disturbed her. She waited while I went to get a camera but I see now that I did not get a picture of her black tongue flicking in and out. 



When she crawled away down behind the potting bench, she was moving her tail very rapidly as if to convince me she was really a rattlesnake, but there was no sound from that thin black tail. 

Day before yesterday we saw a Hog-nosed Snake behind the boxwood where I was trimming not long before. He-Who-Mows and Saws had cut down an old pecan stump with an electric chain saw when he saw the snake.

It did all the tricks that 'spreading adders' as we used to call them, do. It pretended to be a cobra, spreading its jaws out flat and hissing. When that failed it flailed its tail in dry leaves to try to pretend it was a rattlesnake. Both its defense mechanisms having failed, we left it alone so it wouldn't have to play dead as a last resort.

I didn't get its picture. I probably have some hog-nosed snake photos around here somewhere.

Snake season again. I must watch where I step and where I crawl under shrubbery.

Are snakes a concern where you garden?

14 comments:

  1. I thank my lucky stars I do NOT live and garden where snakes are a thing to worry about. I would stop gardening if I feared getting bit by a poisonous snake while pulling weeds. On the other hand, I do think more or less harmless snakes like your black rat snake are beautiful. I say "more or less" because she could bite you if cornered, and it would hurt. I bet she likes the warmth in your greenhouse.

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  2. Yes, unfortunately they are. Non-venomous ones like the hog-nose, corn snakes, and garter snakes are startling, but I leave them be. (Well, sometimes we escort them from the yard, the keep the dogs from them.) King snakes are always a welcome sight. Then there are occasional moccasins, including a juvenile we found on our patio last June, a few steps from our kitchen door. Way too close for comfort. Worst of all was the huge rattlesnake we once saw just up our little dirt road-- the stuff of nightmares.

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  3. Snakes are not a real concern up here in the north. I spot an occasional garter snake, which is quite welcome in my garden.

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    1. Yeah, in Louisiana, one thing we have in abundance is reptiles. I bitched at the cat for failing to kill a little one I had to dispatch, only to find that she immediately took a much bigger one INTO THE LIVING ROOM to show us she was indeed doing her job. Fortunately, husband was just coming in from golf and took out a nine iron and stunned the thing until he could take him outside and finish him off. Don't care why kind they are, they all scare the BJesus out of me. I'd be calling the fire department to come deal with emergency in my greenhouse if I were you! Good luck!.

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  4. I've seen exactly one snake in my garden over the last 13 years. It was a giant grass snake. Giant is probably relative, but it was enough to make me levitate into the house and garden in boots for the rest of the year. I'm very thankful to live in a place where snakes aren't common. I know there are grass snakes around but I like to think that we have an unspoken agreement to stay out of each other's way. Snakes like your little greenhouse visitor would be enough to make me move. I just can't handle them.

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  5. We find skinks a lot but not snakes in our garden. The only venomous snakes in our area prefer the wide open prairie with rock outcroppings. They don't come into town much.

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  6. He's a pretty good size. Sounds like they are loving spring and the warmer weather. Watch where you put your hands.

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  7. Eek! No snakes in my garden although there are little garter snakes out in the country. Snakes are interesting creatures to see in zoos where they're caged but I wouldn't want to accidentally step on one or pull one with the weeds. I guess you get used to being careful where you have snakes. One in the greenhouse wouldn't be fun at all!

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  8. I hope the snake finds her way out of your greenhouse! I ran across a snake a few weeks ago as I was headed down my back slope - it moved so quickly I didn't have time to identify it but, based on the brief glimpse I had, I think it was a harmless garter snake. We do have rattlesnakes in the area - a nearby park has signs posted year-round and one of the nurseries I frequent posts warnings about them, usually in summer.

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  9. We do have snakes here. All I have ever seen are the Black snakes, King snakes and a green one (not a garter) and the tiny little ones. I wouldn't be able to work in the green house until the snake was removed. I know they are harmless but the sudden appearance would scare me to death. I always wear gloves when gardening and one reason is I don't want to reach down to weed and get bitten. The gloves I hope would be some help.

    I have had Black Snakes 'attack' at me when cornered!

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  10. What a good reminder. Most of the time we never see snakes but know they are there, having come home from a trip and found a large diamond back right outside our kitchen door. I was careful for a few days but have since forgotten my caution. I have so much vegetation that it would be easy for them to hide. I have seen hog nosed, smooth green, garter, coral and rat snakes. Yep! they are out there.

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  11. Yes, we have lots of snakes here, and they do get to be quite large (more than 6 feet). They only hunt small rodents and such, though, and snake bites to humans are rare. I once posted about them: http://ladyoflamancha.blogspot.com.es/2013/06/snake-charmer.html

    But, somehow, your the blackness of your snake makes him seem all the more ominous...

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    1. The most deadly are usually the pretty snakes, like Diamondback Rattlesnakes and the brightly hued Coral Snake.

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  12. I have quite a few resident garter snakes in both my greenhouses. I was ok when we had one but I am not too fond of the snake abundance. I like that they keep bugs away from my many plants, especially my vegetables but I am figuring out how to get the snake tribe out of my greenhouse as all of them are abusing my kindness.

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I look forward to comments and questions and lively discussion of gardening and related ideas.



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