Memorial Day was a particularly busy day, herpetologically speaking. I started the day in my garden with a cup of coffee and a Northern Brown Snake basking on top of some thyme. I was careful not to disturb the little foot long snake, and he seemed happy to hang out. I love having brown snakes in the garden since they love to eat slugs and snails. I also just happen to like snakes in general.
As Rachel was getting ready to drive in to work, she spotted her neighbor about to hurt a Black Rat snake that was in his front yard. Luckily, she was able to save the snake and move it to the woods in the back of his property. Black Rat snakes help control rodent populations and are not dangerous to humans in any way.
Later, while Rachel was loading animals to go to her show, she heard our next-door neighbor scream! She asked if he was ok and he said he just saw a snake in his golf bag in the garage and would she please come and get it. Rachel had to leave so she would be on time for her reptile birthday show, so she came and got me. I went over to my neighbor’s and found the 4 feet long Black Rat snake hiding behind a shelf in the back of his garage. I gently picked it up, carried it to the bushes in my front yard and released it.
Whew – but that was not all!
As usual, I saw the Five-lined Skink lizards that live in the my compost area. These beautful blue, yellow, and brown striped lizards are fantastic insect hunters and are a fabulous addition to any garden. They are also fun to watch.
The grand finale of the reptile day was in the evening. We had a Reptiles Alive Memorial Day barbecue with Jen Pennington, Jen Rafter, Rachel and a few other friends and family members. As Rachel was walking in the garden, she found a young Eastern Box turtle! We all looked at the turtle and noted how young and healthy it looked before returning it to the garden.
So, to review, in one day in one neighborhood we saw: One Northern Brown snake, one Black Rat Snake, two Five-lined Skinks, one Eastern Box turtle and Rachel saw one more Black Rat snake in her neighborhood before she came to work.