Saturday, 15 September 2012

Snake!

Wildlife in my Garden - Grass Snake (Natrix Natrix)
"Snake!"
"Mum, I've found a Snake! Come quickly and see it!"
Not necessarily the words a mother wants to hear shouted excitedly by their youngest child. Come on, I've lived in far too many places around the world to greet that announcement with anything but extreme concern, nay fright. That's why I love England so - no snakes.
Well, that's what I thought.
Of course I know that there are snakes in England, just that I've never seen one. The only ones I have ever heard of, of course, are Adders. Those, I know, are extremely shy and retiring preferring not to be disturbed and thus keeping as far a way from humankind as possible. It's a snake I can live with, one that doesn't want to be near me. Problem is, I do know that when disturbed an Adder is likely to act a bit like me.
Attack first think about it later.
So with my youngest yelling snake you can imagine that I was like Usain Bolt off the starting blocks, in fact I truly believe he would have been hard pressed to beat me as I shot outside to snatch my boy to safety.
I felt a complete nit.
For the snake was the tiniest I have ever seen - it was exquisite.
It could not have been more than 15 centimetres long, it's head a tiny arrow broad across the eyes and snub nosed. I was fascinated by its tiny black tongue and the fact that as we watched it I could actually hear it hiss. This tiny toy of a creature was just one of the most beautiful things I have seen in a very long time.
I luckily had my camera at the ready and I am afraid for a few minutes I made it extremely cross, but because it was so small, and the fact that I identified it as a grass snake and thus harmless, I felt quite safe to intrude upon its dignity.
It moved surprisingly quickly and coiled and sprung just like its really rather venomous, and quite considerably larger, cousins. The boys got tired of watching it far quicker than myself, and had long gone before the snake too made its last bow disappearing through the grass muttering to itself about intrusion and invasion of privacy.
I now know I have snakes in my garden but I am far more sanguine about their presence as long as they all remain as small. Luckily I don't think I'll see one again as this is the first one spotted in 11 years of living here and although I will still be wary of snakes I am glad it was brought to my notice...

16 comments:

Expat mum said...

Wow, now that's exciting. I didn't realise they were so bad-tempered. Reminds me of a cartoon snake!

Tattie Weasle said...

Expat Mum - I'm not sure if it was bad tempered or just really pissed off at us for mithering it so!

About Last Weekend said...

I actually love the look of snakes. Now rats or mice you will have me seriously freaking out!

Annie @ knitsofacto said...

Exquisite ... the perfect word for such a wonder.

Rob-bear said...

When I was around ten, I almost stepped on a rattlesnake (fairly deadly critter). It was a coldish morning; the snake was lying in the sun, trying to wake up. Which was just fine, for both of us.

Glad to know your lad's discovery proved to be interesting but "uneventful."

And, yes, he's kind of a cute critter.

Tattie Weasle said...

About Last Weekend - I have a deep seated hatred of rats...
Annie - it was indeed not sure I would have said that had the snake been much larger!
Rob-bear - close shave! Think I got my wariness when we lived across the pond. Oh the tales my friends told no wonder I am exceedingly cautious!

Posie said...

Eek snakes send shivers down my spine. I haven't found one in the garden yet,just the odd lizard, but have disturbed adders a few times..eek

Tattie Weasle said...

Posie - snakes eek indeed! Glad mine was so small.

Lou said...

Fantastic picture. We had one last year (massive) and I managed to video it.
Here: http://archers-at-the-larches.blogspot.co.uk/2011/07/snaaaaaaakeeee.html

The cat was most impressed

Maggie Christie said...

How lovely! I like snakes. Completely leg-free which is fine by me (spiders are far too leggy. Ugh.). Lucky you to see such an exquisite specimen your garden.

Tattie Weasle said...

Lou - They get THAT big!!!!!!
Maggie Christie - it is beautiful. I have to keep comiong back and tkaing a look at my picture I just cannot beleive it!

Tattie Weasle said...

If you wnat toget Closer to nature checjk out: http://mumstheword.me/closer-to-nature/ at Mums Teh Word

Jayne said...

What a fantastic picture! We fostered an injured slow worm recently after my Husband rescued it from a cat and I've been wanting a snake ever since. Thanks for linking up to Closer to Nature. x

Tattie Weasle said...

Jayne - Think closer to Nature is a brilliabt idea. I like slow worms too but never seen one here...

janerowena said...

I found one in the chicken coop two years ago - I can't tell you what a fright it gave me. I put down the doorflap, left the side of the coop open and went back for my camera, but it slithered off while I was gone. It was a few days before I stopped being very wary about where I walked, after that. But I loved seeing it.

Tattie Weasle said...

janerownea - now that I have finally seen one I wouldn't mind seeing one again though obviously not too big!

Go on you know you want to...

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