Saturday, July 6, 2013

Out of the Sedum and Into the Lawn

Garden gift of the morning -- a baby black rat snake.

While I admit they still sort of creep me out a little, my husband loves snakes and other reptiles, so I've learned to appreciate them. They are an important part of the ecosystem, and a big help to gardeners, since rat snakes eat what you would expect -- rodents! We have all sorts of those digging up plants and munching on roots and leaves in our garden, and I bet you do, too.

Rat snakes can carry the salmonella bacteria and can also be snappy if provoked, so I leave them alone. Unconcerned Husband has been known to pick one up by the tail, but they have a stinky musk that gets on you and isn't too pleasant.

And he has been bitten before. The biggest risk from a bite is infection, so washing the wound well is important. Otherwise, Husband says the bites aren't particularly painful, that he would much rather be bitten by a snake than a dog. I guess no bites at all isn't an option for some people.

Are you afraid of snakes, or are you happy to see them? Or both?


UPDATE 7/08/13 The most common poisonous snake in most parts of North Carolina is the copperhead. Here is a link describing this snake: Copperhead And: How Dangerous are Copperhead Snakes? by NCSU and A&T Cooperative Extension

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