The Snake is Gone… I think.

Maggie knows it's in there!

Maggie knows it’s in there!

I heard it rattling through dry leaves before I glanced over and saw the Northern Water Snake slowly disappearing into the pachysandra garden on the edge of the property. (See Where Have All My Frogs Gone?) He had been warming himself on the fieldstone path as I passed by this garden. Could he really be leaving us? It’s been two weeks now and he has not returned to our little frog pond garden.  And, magically, two new frogs have found the pond.  My fish numbers are lower but they will recover. All is well in our small aquatic paradise.

With the snake gone, I knew this was my window of opportunity. Today I waded knee-deep into the garden that borders the pond, armed with loppers and pitchfork and a stick to drive away anything scary. Chop, chop, dig, dig. I slowly cut back the cotoneaster, dug up large sections of the spreading Black-eyed Susan and all of the variegated Japanese sedges, leaving the fieldstone visible.  I left alone the poor sun starved Blue Sedge (Carex flacca) that once gracefully flopped over the rocks along the border. It will rebound.
img_2198If the snake makes it through the winter, he will probably return to the pond next summer, however the shelter he found beneath the overhanging branches and flowers is gone.  Let’s hope he keeps on truckin’.

Ann Hohenberger, The Garden Club of Gloucester

6 thoughts on “The Snake is Gone… I think.

  1. We have a Northern Water Snake at the store, and even though they are non-venomous, they seem to get agitated and aggressive fairly easily. I was teaching an outdoor class to a group of Peninsula Master Gardeners last Thursday when he/she decided to show its slithery self. Things could have gotten ugly, but the group remained remarkably calm.

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  2. Last year to keep the birds and squirrels away from my tomatoes I covered them with a net–several weeks later a blacksnake got tangled in the net and died. It was a warm week in August and I didn’t want to mess with him so decided to wait for the weekend to get him out of there. On Saturday morning when I went to cut it out the only thing remaining was a snake skeleton and some skin–birds and bugs had picked him clean. This year when the tomatoes were ripening I saw another black snake in the garden so didn’t use the net. I’m not fond of them but I’m hoping they reduce my vole population.

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    • Gene, Wow, that’s really nature at work. Hardly anything goes to waste. I have seen more varieties of snakes this summer. It was such a severely hot, dry summer, we may have had the moisture they needed with soaker hoses… and a frog pond.

      Your Hampton garden is lovely. I do love your church flowers!

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