Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Snakes under my porch

Usually I have rabbits living under there, but this year, the rabbits decided to make their burrows in the side yards.  The porch was abandoned property, so now I have a nest of garter snakes under there.

Every day around 8 a.m. they exit from under the porch en masse, and at last count, there were seven of them ranging in size from 12" to almost 30".  One of them is vary large, and I'm pretty sure it's a pregnant female--I saw her out by the fence today.

Sorry if that gives anyone the creeps.  I think they're neat.  :)

As a gardener, I'm actually very happy to have this variety of snakes in my yard, and given the size of my yard, I think the count is about right for the area they need to cover.  Garter snakes are great pest predators, and they keep the slugs off of my hostas and the mice out of my veggie patch.  They're skittish and run from confrontation, and they tend to move along whenever I get too close.  

A huge plus is that they're big enough to handle mice, but small enough that they don't bother the rabbits.  This morning a small baby rabbit sat by and ate grass two feet away while the snakes exited the den, and neither the snakes nor the bunny were bothered.  Now, the rabbits are a constant problem for my garden, because they eat my ice plant, hostas, blanket flower, tulips, lilies, crocus, and pretty much everything else.  They decimated my attempt at a strawberry patch.  I think the yarrow and the marigolds are the only thing they won't touch.  

It's good for them they're cute.  I enjoy watching them just enough that I'm willing to put up with the hassle and heartbreak of eaten plants.

Shattered Minotaur (Book 6 of the Redemption series) is still coming along, and I'm about 2/3rds done writing it.  If I finish it before the end of June, the plan is to bump up the release of Book 5, which is currently scheduled for release on July 26th.

Happy Reading (& Gardening).

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