Last updated on December 23rd, 2012
I’D LIKE YOU TO MEET GERTA, my resident garter snake (above, click to enlarge). Isn’t she adorable? Well, I happen to think so. You, however, might not feel such affinity for a slithering reptile that dwells in your garden. But trust me…Gerta — like any common garden snake — is a friend, not a foe:
Gerta does much to eradicate mosquitoes and other pests from my garden. She and the rest of her clan are non-venomous and harmless to humans. Her biggest enemies are humans, hawks, cats and dogs. I can tell you that Lily the Beagle goes berserk when she encounters any garter snake, for here is a prey she can grab and shake to death, like one of her toys. Consequently, I keep Lily close at hand when Gerta is in view.
I found Gerta in one of my fountains this morning, swimming with the grace of Esther Williams amongst a chorus of tadpoles. The tadpoles do not fear her, and neither do I.
But if you want to rid a garden snake from your property, here’s how you do it. Slip a rake-handle under the reptile, and gently lower it into a deep bucket. Then take the bucket to a local forest, and let the poor creature loose. Snakes do not have easy lives, and really, we ought not to harm them.
Why are snakes more obvious on warm autumn days? It’s because they are about to go into hibernation. They are merely trying to soak up a little sun — just as we do — before making their long winter retreat.
Are you among the snake-squeamish? Let me know in the comments field below. And don’t forget to click the Facebook “Like” button if you found this post of interest.
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