Snakes of the Good Kind and One Bad Kind

Spring brings many critters to the garden, which includes snakes.  I probably see more snakes in the Spring than any other time. I found a juvenile Rat Snake in the warm stones in the front yard. They eat rodents, lizards or toads, but will climb trees to eat eggs from bird nests.  I can always tell when the birds spot a Rat Snake, as they all gather and scream at it. This snake is not venomous to humans, but could bite and pass disease.

These two Ribbon Snakes have paired up for the season.  The large one has recently had a feeding. I came across her a few days later and got an eyeful of what exactly she likes to eat.  I’m not posting that photo.  These snakes are also called garden or green snakes. They are not venomous and eat garden pests.

And now the snake of the bad kind.  This is a Copperhead and helps by eating bugs and rodents, but is venomous to humans. Most people live after being bit.  This young snake was curled up in my planter. A reminder to look first. I have also found Copperheads to be mostly chill and like to watch whatever I’m doing.

(Sorry about the quality of these photos, as they were snapped quickly with my phone.)

Before I got around to posting this, the young Copperhead (I think it is the same one) decided to visit the back porch.  Naturally, it found a nice corner near the door my husband would be coming through soon. My husband, who is not into nature as much as I am, always has these snake encounters and this is the second time one waited for him at the garage door.

Copperheads have a very distinctive  Hershey Kiss pattern on their skin.

My tip for making snakes move without hurting them is to gently hose them with water or even throwing bowls of water on them.  Unfortunately, this youngster was a bit clueless, as many young are, and came towards me instead of away when I threw water on it.


All in One Day

IMG_3939

I was checking a bed in the backyard when I hear a loud ruckus on the other side of the fence.  A flock of Bluejays were screaming and  Chickadees were joining in.  I was hoping to see a Barred Owl or an Eagle, but the birds were low in the trees and looking at the ground.  The animal upsetting them was a Rat Snake.

IMG_3937

The Rat Snake was slinking away and going for cover.  He looks lumpy and maybe just ate. The brave little Chickadees were right above him and didn’t seem to mind me being there.  Rat Snakes can crawl up trees and eat eggs and baby birds.  This one was quite long and they can get up to 6 feet in length.  According to my research, they curl up and defend themselves, are not venomous, but will bite. This snake allowed me to snap quite a few photos with my phone.  I have encountered them before and never found the Rat Snakes vicious and they usually slither away.

IMG_3942

Next, I headed to the front yard to collect Poppy seeds.  I noticed this Copperhead right before I stepped on the rock.  It is still a baby and I have been told they are more venomous than adults.  I find Copperheads just like to watch.

IMG_3940

And not as scary, I found a Crawfish hole.  Apparently, there are various kinds of these creatures, but are all very similar.  They can also be called Crayfish.  Crayfish is the name an English scientist gave to them and Crawfish is the American name and used in the South.  Crawfish it shall be.  Unwelcomed   critters seemed to show up in the garden all in one day.