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Friday, May 14, 2010

Snake in the Grass

I feel that Snakes belong in any garden that aspires to be a balanced haven for wildlife. My Dad would catch Black and King Snakes and then turn them lose after teasing my Maternal Grandmother. She had a fear of Snakes....but I feel she enjoyed the teasing. Anyway Dad taught me that Snakes played a valued role in Nature. He firmly believed that if you had Black Snakes around you would not have poisonous ones in the same area. I'm not sure if this is true or not but like the thought.  


I have seen Black and Rat Snakes in years past in my yard/garden. One year a young Red-bellied Swamp Snake decide he liked my water-garden ate a few of my fish and ran off the frogs. He had to be removed. Then we were able to I.D. it.:(   Still feel bad about it.  The same thing happened with a Rat Snake that had some strange markings.  I learned that they have many variations of markings.


A couple of days ago which was a day off from work, I noticed a Mourning Dove acting very strange. The bird was flapping one wing.  That is when I noticed my first Snake of the Season. I took this picture though my window.




Hmmm.....I had very seen a Snake like this one before.  I had to get a closer look. I went outside. The Dove flew off and my mystery Snake headed for my Hydrangea bush.


  
What pretty markings.  What kind of Snake is this?  Is it a Copperhead or Cottonmouth? Let's take a look at his head. 






Although I wasn't sure of the I.D. of this Snake, I was rather convinced that it wasn't poisonous. Why?  Because it was thin for the length, the head didn't have a triangle shape and the pupils were round.  I was right.  This is a Corn Snake.  Also known as a Red Rat Snake.  Their prey are rodents, frogs, bird eggs, and birds. This is why I baffle my bird houses and only mount them on a post.  Here in the South Snakes are a top raider of bird nests.  I learned this lesson the hard way. 


Don't you agree that this is one beautiful Snake? I get to add it to my Snake Life List. 


Well...I must head to work.  Peace to All and watch for Snakes! 

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