Friday, August 19, 2011

A welcome garden visitor

To many people, seeing a snake in the garden would be cause for alarm. Screaming, running for the shovel, vacating the garden for days hoping it will leave and not come back, you name it. But for me, seeing a snake, especially a gophersnake (Great Basin gophersnake, Pituophis catenifer deserticola, or commonly called a Bullsnake around these parts) just makes me very happy.

After supper the night before last, Little M and I went down to the garden to eat some strawberries and maybe some beans & peas, and to check out all the plants and see how they were all growing. The first thing I noticed as I bent down to look for ripe strawberries in the strawberry patch was the distinctive blotching pattern of a gophersnake woven through the strawberry plants!

I looked a bit closer to make sure it was a gophersnake (not a rattlesnake which would have meant removing Little M and heading back down with my snake hook to relocate it a good distance away from the house (but still within it's home range). Luckily it was just a gophersnake, not a small one either, although not the biggest we have seen on the property, and definitely not the biggest one I have ever seen. That's because I moved out west to do a masters thesis on gophersnakes up in British Columbia's Okanogan Valley. Yup, that's right, I studied snakes! So I guess you could say I have a bit of a soft spot for them now, so snakes are welcome in my garden!


  1. I love this! I know just how you feel. :D Go gophersnakes!

  2. Oh, good for you! I'm still not the biggest fan of snakes, but I'm getting over it (slowly). Last night I pulled a teeny-tiny garter snake out of the garage, and I didn't get the heebee jeebees. So that's progress. I can see the benefit, so it makes me squirm less!

  3. Ok I admire you that much more now!!! I would have freaked out ran in the house with a definite case of the heebee jeebees!! :) I used to be the same way about bugs in the garden, but I had to get over that because I wanted to have a garden more! snakes...not there yet!!!

  4. I love benign snakes in the garden! Glad it wasn't a rattler. I haven't seen any in my garden in Washington state, but I used to get lots of garter snakes and black rat snakes back in Massachusetts. Always left them alone, they are such good hunters of bad bugs and slugs.


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