A Little Snake Makes a Mistake

The snake was well and truly wedged in the middle of the 1/4" mesh.

The snake was well and truly wedged in the middle of the 1/4″ mesh.

I was was setting out beet seedlings yesterday afternoon when I heard a furious rustling in the leaves behind me, near the fence.  “Voles!!” was my first reaction, thinking of my old enemy, but when I investigated it turned out to be a Garter Snake about two feet long who had misjudged the opening in the fence.  My husband has installed a length of 1/4″ mesh hardware cloth around the garden to deter the Voles and this little snake’s head fit through very nicely but the rest of the snake was at least twice as wide as its head.  It had become wedged in the fence, half in-half out.  I certainly want it in the garden as they are very good friends, eating lots of insects and even Voles when the snakes get larger.  I didn’t want to pull on it for fear of damaging some internal organs so I gave it an hour to see if it could somehow manipulate itself through, but when I cam back… no.  The poor little thing lay, inert and seemingly exhausted, in much the same position.

Back in the house I got a small pair of wire cutters.  I cut one wire and the tip was sharp, so I pressed my finger against it to protect the snake and quickly cut one more.  With that cut the corner could be folded back allowing it to get through.  Off it slithered to the pile of old salt hay I have piled in the corner of the garden.  “Good choice,” I said to the snake, it’s full of worms.

Free and headed for lunch.

Free and headed for lunch.

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2 Responses so far »

  1. 1

    Sharon Reeves Cottrill said,

    This is such a nice story, but why … oh, why … can’t I get over my fear of snakes? If I were sure that they were going to stay outside, I’d be fine. And although I’ve never had one in my little country house in the 30 years that I’ve lived there, I still fear finding one inside & then I’ll have to move or NEVER SLEEP AGAIN. Do you have any other experiences to share that might help me work through this?

    Like

  2. 2

    I don’t know where you live but here in our area of Connecticut there are no poisonous snakes, for which I would certainly have a healthy respect. I know the enormous benefits snakes have in the garden and so this little guy (girl?) is a welcome guest. It has taken up residence in the corner of the garden where I keep my bales of salt hay used for mulch and I can usually find it asleep under the tarp. FWIW, I know snakes are shy and prefer to avoid people. Confrontations are probably due more to surprise on the part of both parties.

    Like


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