rocket tracking


Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Snake in the Grass

Lemmie, the handsome stray which arrived at our house already de-clawed and neutered as a young cat can be rather....annoying.

I know nothing of his original owners, although I tried and tried to find them. Evidently, he imprinted on the outside very young and he must have had a remarkable huntress for a mother.

I try to keep him in the house, but he is a gray streak and goes flying out the door. Usually, he is content to stay somewhat near me as I work in the garden. He is, however the consummate hunter. So far this year, he has brought me a not quite fledged Chipping Sparrow (unhurt, but I couldn't find the nest so it is now at a wildlife rehabilitators...I suspect he fell out of the nest and Lem grabbed him), a fledgling robin (returned unharmed to the robin parents), a vole (deceased after playing with it....that one is a good thing) and this adult garter snake.

The snake, thankfully was unharmed as well. Lem dropped him for me and I handed Lemmie over to my husband while I picked up the snake to put it back further into the garden so he wouldn't be exposed. Garter snakes can bite, but their bite is not poisonous. They are always welcome in my garden as they eat insects and rodents. This particular specimen was about 24" long. It was quite well mannered and let me pick him up without much struggle.

It is a pity that people are frightened of snakes. I had a neighbor in Connecticut who would try to kill them as she was afraid. I convinced her to let me come and bring the snakes up the street to my house. I'm sure some of them went back to her house, but I wasn't going to tell her that. Even my husband was aghast as I picked this one up....I knew he had an aversion to frogs, which I associate with an unfortunate experience in Cuba (the frogs were behind a shutter and many fell out when they opened the shutter), but they ARE slimy.... I always get to do the bullfrog removal from the pond....

Not much bothers me in the way of wildlife....except spiders...too many eyes and fangs...but then, I don't kill them either. My daughter makes fun of me as I try to release them outside. I don't have anything against them really, except I don't want them in MY house.


Del said...

I'm with you on the spiders - br-r-r-r. Snakes are sometimes okay - even big king snakes are not scarey as long as they don't pop out of the bushes onto my foot. But usually the only snakes we have here in SCalifornia are rattle snakes which frequent dry rocky piles - even in developed areas. It pays to wear hightop hiking boots when even slightly off the beaten path.

Michigoose said...

I have a great photo of my grandmother in her "snake outfit" when she lived in her adobe in El fake! I'll shoot a copy of it and the adobe and put it up soon. I keep on wondering if that adobe is still around. The photo is from the 1960s.

I also remember her saying she had to check her shoes before she put them on to make sure there weren't any scorpions. ICK!