Serpent in the Garden

ratsnakeIt isn’t often that I see a large snake in my garden but when I do, my instant thought is to get it out, mainly because I have three very small dogs who enjoy being in the garden with me and I don’t want a snake to bite them.

In our area we have two poisonous snakes, the copperhead and cottonmouth. In the 41 years since we have lived at our place, we occasionally see a cottonmouth during the warm months around our ponds. Once in a while a copperhead might show up on in the front yard or in the garden, but not often because we have four large dogs which are active enough on the lawn to discourage too many visitors.  A snake more common to see is the black rat snake, most often seen just quietly slithering across a dirt road.

Earlier in the day, I had put some old crinkly paper feed sacks under one of the apple trees as an attempt to deter squirrels from approaching the tree (yes, we try anything harmless).  Returning to my crinkly sacks yesterday evening, I picked up one of the sacks to put under another tree and all curled up under it was a large black rat snake! A large one too, like several feet long and a 2-inch or more body diameter.  First thing I did was get my three little dogs out of the garden and back in the house!

That done, I went back to the job at hand. Hadn’t seen a black rat snake in my garden since last year so I tried what was successful the last eviction. I got the hose and sprayed it. Last year when I did that, the snake made a beeline for the north fence and was out of there in seconds. This year? Nope. Sprayed and sprayed. It seemed to enjoy the shower, so I turned up the spray pressure and up the apple tree it went, coiling around and around and then placed itself nicely on an upper branch and stared at me. When I told my daughter, she asked me if the snake talked to me or tempted me to eat an apple.  We laughed. My little Garden of Eden is already cursed by the original Fall, so I reckon the serpent and I couldn’t do any more damage.

I left the long black fellow on his apple tree branch and continued working in my garden. It was a rather comforting thought that no squirrel would dare to climb up that apple tree right now. I had read earlier in the day that you could hang fake snakes in your fruit trees to deter pesky robbing squirrels, but I had a real one up there. Maybe I could make a deal with the serpent after all………….   😉

“Now the serpent was more subtle than any of the beasts of the earth which the Lord God had made.” Genesis 3:1