How many times have you said this, “if it were a snake, it would have bit me?” I’ve heard people around here say it a lot, but I think it has a new meaning for me now.
There are lot of snakes in the South. It’s just a fact of life that if you spend enough time outdoors, you’ll come across one. If you’re lucky, it’s a nonvenomous one, but you always have to remember that the venomous ones are out there.
I take a “live and let live” approach to the critters in my garden, including the snakes. Although I know many people that kill a snake on sight, whether it’s venomous or not.
My Snake Encounter
This weekend, as I was out working in the garden and cleaning house too, I took the dog beds out to beat them to remove the dog hair. As I’m banging the large dog bed on the side of the stairs, I look down at my feet and see this little guy. It definitely made me jump! But with all of the noise I was making, this snake showed no aggressive behavior. He just moved out of the way and went into the weeds. Of course, I hurried back in to get my camera right before he left.
So maybe the saying isn’t true. It WAS a snake, but it didn’t even try to bite me.
It’s not the first time I’ve seen him. I am pretty sure that he lives under my house. During Easter, when I had about 25 kids searching for eggs in my yard, I spotted him in a shrub on the side of the house. To be sure we didn’t scare the kids, I assigned two people to keep an eye on him, and they did so until he moseyed on by.
While it can be startling to come across one of these in my garden, I know that they are actually a gardener’s friend. They keep rodents under control in their habitat and will eat other snakes, including venomous ones, if given the chance. Just like any wild animal, if cornered, they do show a bit of aggressiveness. I had one that was on my doorstep when I came home and any time I came close, he would head straight for me. I had him removed and taken to a new home. I just couldn’t convince him to let me in my house!
These snakes are rather pretty as well. Their “speckled” skin is often called “salt-and-pepper” and they range from striped speckles to just plain speckled.
This video is of the kingsnake that lived in my garden before I moved to my current location. He was around for at least 3 years, living mostly in the front garden.