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04/08/2010


photo from the BBC Wildlife Finder website

LIFTING THE LID

... on a Grass Snake.

There's one in my compost bin!

On our first meeting, the shock of seeing it curled up there, basking on the top made me jump out of my skin, but ...

I am glad it's there, and for choosing our garden as its perfect habitat.

At this time of year a female will lay eggs in this warm and protected environment, and those eggs will incubate and hatch in September/October.

A Grass Snakes staple food is frogs. Guess that's maybe why I haven't seen many this year!

Grass Snakes are a protected species, so the compost will have to be left well alone

... for a while at least.

Easy identification - a Grass Snake and Smooth Snake (non-venomous) has round eyes, an Adder (venomous) has slit ones.

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13 comments:

The Patchwork Heart said...

Oh my goodness how scary ... what are you going to do about them?
Heather

harmony and rosie said...

So glad we finally get to see your post, blogger has been tempting us for days now! We saw a snake a few weeks back and thought it was an adder until we did some proper research. At first we were a bit disappointed but actually the thought of having a harmless snake (plus babes) in the garden is a very appealing one. A couple of steps up from our lovely blue tits I guess. I wonder how many little ones there will be?!

harmony and rosie said...

PS - our snake was a grass snake too!

Glo said...

Hi Louise ~ gosh, I would have jumped out of my skin as well! Recently I read a blog posting that had a story about a grass snake in her garden, and it's such an interesting tale, I thought I'd send you the link to it. Looks like a lovely blog, too.

http://moonlightandhares.blogspot.com/2010/07/fairytaletale-of-snake-and-toad.html

Flighty said...

That would have given me a heart attack! Seeing as I have a phobia for them there's no way I'd get anywhere near to check the eyes to see what kind it is! Flighty xx

sweetmyrtle said...

oohh! what a shock!!

does that mean that later in the year you will have a whole family in the compost bin?
off to check mine now!
hope you are having a lovely Summer and the sun is shining for you
x

Bernie said...

It is rather a gorgeous looking grass snake. In my part of the world grass snakes are a common sight ... and often seen around my garden and home! I'm never really totally comfortable whenever I do see them though!

Simone said...

How wonderful! Slighty scary too! Do they eat chickens? I best check my compost bin in case there are any in there. I wonder if they appeared because we have had (mostly) a hot dry summer? I hope he/she has round eyes!!! x

Rose Lefebvre said...

I would not get close enough to be checking out the eyes to decide if it was poisonous or not!! We call them garter snakes around here...I call them "EEEK! Run!!"

Crafty Green Poet said...

oh how exciting (once you've got over the first shock!).

Damo said...

very exciting I love grass snakes, the nearest I've got is a slow worm living in one of my beds last year.

Cottage Garden said...

Grass snakes are not something you expect to see in your compost bin Louise! It must be testament to the fact that you have a very inviting garden - they are shy creatures. You will have a veritable creche come October!!

Jeanne
x

lifeinredshoes said...

Our dog came upon one of these a few days ago. The snake held it's ground, the puppy was mesmerised:)