Snake house

May 18, 2009

Yesterday I was digging in the garden, making room for 2 blueberry bushes.  I had to remove 30 sq feet of “sod” (in quotes because it was probably 50% weeds) and a small pile of lumber scraps that had collected at the side of the house.  This task would have probably taken me a half day if working alone.  With my 2 daughters helping, it took about 3 days.  And actually I’m still not finished, so I guess it will take more than that!

As I was working I noticed that under the pile of boards was a little brown garden snake.  I called the 4 year old over to see.  She was moderately interested but soon ran off to dig in the sandbox or swing on her swing.  I replaced the board I had moved, to cover the snake again and resumed my work.

As the day went on I found I really wanted to get rid of the pile of lumber.  What looks messier than a pile of lumber scraps?  So I took them away and apologized to the snake.  “I’m sorry Mr Snake, you’ll have to find a new house” I said.  But Mr. Snake did not move.  I banged things around, I tossed chunks of wood and did lots of things that would generally disturb a snake.  Not on purpose, mind you, but I was working hard.  The snake didn’t move.  I had unearthed a colony of earwigs while digging, so I wonder if he was just hesitant to leave his food source.  Whatever the reason, he was clearly not interested in moving on.  Which is fine by me.  Snakes are great animals to have in the garden.  They eat lots of bugs and slugs.  And since I live in New England, there is no reason to fear them.  If I were in Arizona or Florida, I might feel differently.

So I made him a house.  I put 2 scraps of 3/4 inch wood down with a larger plank on top.  Right over the snake where he stayed still on the cement foundation of the house.  He slid right in and I think he is there still.  I hope he eats all those earwigs.  Those things are creepy.  If he sticks around we’ll have to name him.  Any suggestions?

Snake House

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