Friday, May 13, 2011

Brown Snakes are Friendly

I have seen a couple of brown garter snakes in the garden this Spring.  When I was growing up, I only saw green and black garter snakes, I didn't know they came in brown.  Since I have lived here in Virginia, I have seen a few copperheads, which are poisonous, brown, short, but fat and scary.  So I was a little skittish to take a piece of wood off the woodpile last week and see a skinny brown snake curled up trying to keep warm.  I just gently put the piece of wood back on top of him.  I am not a "snake-picker-upper' of any snake, but they are welcome in the garden if they are not a danger to us.  I mean, I don't want to be fiddling with a plant and be in fear of getting bitten by a poisonous snake. This isn't the desert!

Anyway, I looked up these brown snakes and found that they are friendly, they eat slugs, which we need because slugs chew holes in the hostas at night. So, they are welcome.  I did get the chance to pick one up yesterday when I saw my cat, Zippy, in the yard occupied with something. Upon further investigation, he had a baby brown garter snake about 8 inches long, which was scared to death and probably anticipating his demise.  I shooed Zippy off and picked up the snake, which curled up in my hand.  He was pretty nice, no threat, cold, not slimy or anything.  I let him out under a hosta 30 yards away.  Nice fellow.  They are cool but unfortunately cats are fascinated by them. Time to have a talk with the cats....again.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks so very much for this post! I just found 2 and as a VA native was terrified at first, but with lots of kids in the neighborhood was afraid to leave them in my garden! I moved them to the woods a long ways out from the house. Hopefully they will stay there, though reading your article that they love slugs I now know why my garden was so attractive for them! :-)