Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Temporary and Permanent Garden Visitors

Visiting reptile
 Before the heavens opened and the day turned to rain, I was hurrying around at work with the yellow wagon and moving some container plants. I spotted this little reptile lying very still in the leaves hoping I would not notice him (her?). I decided to relocate the snake and carefully pushed it into a container and carried it far away to a less humanly populated area. Hopefully it will stay there.

I have read that snakes are quite territorial and will travel several miles to return to their home turf. That reminds me of when we used to have chickens. The eggs and chicks would attract enormous black snakes. I am not a hater of reptiles and I would poke the snakes (even the ones with big eggy bulges) into a white plastic pickle bucket and cart them off to a gas well pad about a mile down the road. After reading about their ability to travel long distances I began to wonder if I was just hauling the same snake around time after time. They did seem to resemble one another, who knows?

I haven't identified this one yet. We have moved our reptile identification guides and it may take me a while to find them and identify the specimen. I hope my photo is clear enough.  It was reluctant to turn over for me to see the underside. This reminds me of the time I brought a snake in so the cat wouldn't kill it. I didn't have time to identify it and it was unusual, so I left it in a bucket in the house until I could get back. It managed to crawl out of the bucket while I was gone, and in a family incident that was the stuff of legends, the long suffering husband became a little irate when he had to move the deep freeze to recapture the unidentified snake.
Auction duck in iris

The other picture shows an auction item that has settled into an iris bed. It is at my home near the shop and just out of sight. I forget that it is there until I start visiting the iris beds in the spring. While the duck is charming, the reptile is sublime in camouflage and stealthiness. Both gave me a start when I saw them, but only one of them was exciting.


  1. Margaret:
    This appears to be a Northern Diamond-backed Watersnake. It is harmless. Good snake to have around to keep the rodents controlled.

    1. Thanks for the tip, it looks like you are right. I am not very familiar with water snakes and it was interesting reading about them. We are on the Arkansas River in North Central Arkansas, is this typical range I wonder? Thanks again for the id help.

  2. Here is a youtube video showing an adult female

  3. such a pretty snake! you live the charmed life my friend :)