Saturday, May 30, 2009


I was on vacation this week and spent most of it working in the yard. Digging in flower gardens, putting up a new fence gate, planting vegetables, cutting grass, etc., etc., etc. I love doing this. I love every minute I spend in my own yard and while I do all this work my eyes and ears are always open to what's going on around me. The wonderful chortle of chimney swifts flying overhead, my purple martins as they fly to and fro feeding their young, the toad that comes hopping from between the flowers, the red-shouldered hawks soaring high get the picture. Nature is always on my mind.

While digging up a long dead plumbago shrub suddenly out of nowhere comes a DeKay's brown snake (Storeria dekayi) from the grassy edges. I wrote about this beautiful little snake once before. Now exposed it froze hoping that its natural colors would blend in with the dirt background........until I reached down for it. As soon as my hand got close, it began flattening its head and assuming the striking position. Mind you this was all just a bluff as it didn't try and bite at all. Actually it was extremely tame when handled. People worried about slugs and snails damaging their plants would benefit from having this snake in their garden, because these pests are in their diet.

I placed it into a flower pot until I was finished (plus I wanted to show it to my wife when she got home from work) and later released it in the thick grass below our jasmine vine hoping to one day come across it again.

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