Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Love in the Garden

According to Tennyson, "In the spring, a young man's fancy lightly turns to thoughts of love".  It is not just young men, there are also the birds, of course.  But what is most noticeable in this garden is snakes. Why each spring they choose the garden for the pursuit of love, I am not quite sure. I expect they like the warmth of the stones bordering the rill.

Anyhow, at this time of the year, one morning, like this morning, you take your first walk in  the garden, and they are all here ready for snake love fest.

Sometimes snake passion takes arborial form.

 Fools rush in where angels fear to tread, and among the fools this morning was a chipmunk who had decided that this was the ideal morning to explore the rill.

It might not have been as dangerous for him as it seems, because he probably is a tad too big for a garter snake. Although, as I pointed out in one of last year's posts, garter snakes are not very good judges of what they can swallow.

Garter snake sunning itself in the rill this morning

At least in this garden, garter snakes specialize in frogs. No doubt, besides the warm stones, this is another attraction the rill has to offer.

However we also have milk snakes and what they like best are small mammals, usually mice, voles and the like, which also includes chipmunks. They are actually friends of gardeners as chipmunks, among other things, are bulb fanciers.

Milk Snake

As you might imagine, voles, mice and chipmunks are not a problem in this garden. However, I have yet to get used, after almost ten years, to coming face to face with a snake when I am on all fours weeding.

 I conclude with a very poor picture of the most beautiful snake that visits the garden: the little smooth green snake. I am sure you would all love to have one of those.


Because it eats slugs!


  1. The milk snake would freak me out, too.
    Alain, je lis toujours ton blog 'Roche Fleurie' avec joie.

  2. I have no snakes in our garden. Wouldn't mind a green snake or two, though I doubt Judy agrees. As for love, even snakes can't do without it.

  3. Oh, I think I need more snakes! Actually, I've never seen one here, although I did encounter them in my previous garden. I'm sure they're in the woodland, I just haven't seen them. Very beneficial. You have so many! My favorite beneficial critter in my current garden is the toads--they help keep the insects in check in my potager garden. :)

  4. We don't get snakes in the garden or on the plot. In fact I've never seen one in the wild in our area either. It would be great to have a slug eating snake though. Do you think it could stretch to snails too?

  5. A vole eating snake and a slug eating snake? What's not to love?

  6. Hello Alain, I need the green snake, I need thirty! A snake that eats slugs is worth more than its weight in gold!


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