Two Snakes a Day

Many creatures have made appearances at our house; white tailed deer, more than 30 species of birds, moles, glow worms, opossums, and more. However, snakes remain fairly elusive to our yard. Only three have made themselves known in eight years. We saw a pretty sizable black rat snake a few years ago. Once a worm snake was wriggling in the driveway, and I saw a brown snake by the garage before we'd even moved.

When Nora called excitedly for me to come see a snake near the porch, I admit that I rolled my eyes and followed her skeptically. "What kind is it?" I asked, testing her.
She answered confidently. "A black snake!"

I was surprised to glance down at a snake, instead of the stick which I anticipated viewing.
"Cool!" I ran back inside for my camera. With Lily on my hip, I tiptoed toward the reptile for a closer look.

"Mommy! Don't bring the baby near the snake!" Nora screeched.
"Why?"
She looked sheepish.
"'Cause it might get scared and bite her."
"Goodness and mercy," I groaned. Nora is often frustrated by her naturalist, tree hugging parents. She is easily brainwashed by myths. "It's scared right now, and is it trying to bite her?"
Nora looked down. "No..."
"What's it doing?"
"Trying to get away."
"Exactly. And..." At least she was polite enough to listen to the unwanted natural history lesson she knew was coming. "...that snake couldn't eat us, right? We're WAY too big. His teeth are pretty fragile, and he isn't going to waste a bite on something he can't eat. What if his teeth broke?"
She nodded solemnly.
We watched the snake until he took refuge in my hydrangea.

Later the same day, I was mowing when another, larger black rat snake scurried away from me.

Although snakes might send some screaming for the hills, they are a welcome sight in my yard.
After all, two snakes a day keep the mice away!




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