Tuesday, March 27, 2012

A first encounter

Saturday we spent about 3 hours in our garden (Todd doing most of the time, and labor), preparing the boxes and cleaning up from winter.
Todd hauled in the new soil while I pulled weeds and turned the soil.
Henry dug for worms and climbed trees while Theo climbed in and out of his stroller.
It was so enjoyable. It was great to feel the earth, the breeze, the sun on our faces, and to get dirty.
We have planted our starter seeds and when they grow heartier, and the chance of a frost is gone, we'll plant them.

Gardening was all pretty lovely until I shook out one of our tarps that had been nonchalantly tossed to the side of the garden. I was picking it up so I could use it as a drop cloth for my weeds and out tumbled a . . . snake . . . at my feet.
I didn't scream. I think for a brief second I tried to convince myself it wasn't a snake--maybe it was a hose, or a rope, or something--not a snake.
It sure was a snake, though, and to me, a fairly big one. Probably 3 feet long (maybe a slight exaggeration?) and about three fingers thick at its thickest. He was black with yellow stripes from head to tail, and he had a red tongue. He was a creepy little guy.

After a bunch of dancing around, shivering, coaxing, dodging, and a phone call to dear old dad (Bub), the snake was out of our midst. Phew.
Todd had saved the day. He picked up the vermin with our pitchfork and placed him in a bucket. The snake tried to come out but Todd closed the lid on him. He dumped him out a ways away, over by a creek next to the railroad tracks.

When we got home we looked him up online and found that he was indeed a ribbon snake. He looked just like this guy:

We also found out that he's generally "friendly" and docile. He was probably doing more good for us than harm. Supposedly he likes mice and frogs and other big bugs so he was probably helping us in our clean up effort. My heart started to soften for the little guy and now I'm torn with this love-hate relationship.

Sure, we'd love to have you clean out our garden but I don't ever want to see you.
But, thanks, though.
It's nice knowing you're around (??).

1 comment:

Emily Savage said...

I found a little snake in our garden, too! But I think his home was destroyed when the rototiller came through. I felt the same way as you did... thanks for being a nice snake, but please don't come any closer. EVER.

Can't wait to be garden buddies again this summer!