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.
If 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