Snakes in the Garden

Snakes in the Garden

Fortunately I’m not one to be squeamish with the natural side of the garden. The wasps usually don’t bother me, nor do the spiders, and neither do the snakes. I know many people can’t even stand the sight of snakes whether they are dangerous or not. It’s probably the fear that they could be poisonous that scares people. There’s an easy way to tell though – look at the head! If the head of the snake is pointy and more arrow shaped then avoid it because it’s poisonous. If the snout is more rounded like in the case of my new friend here it’s not poisonous.

This little snake is a juvenile black racer (I think, if I’m wrong let me know!).  It was found in my neighbor’s mailbox garden while they were cleaning it up. I collected this little guy and placed him in my garden where he is more than welcome to eat his fill of moles, voles, mice and insects.  The natural pest control he offers is a very nice benefit! He’s the first snake I’ve seen here since we bought our house although I’ve seen many other reptiles including two box turtles and skinks (blue tail).

What cool critters have you found in your garden lately?


Dave has written since 2007. He gardens on an acre and a half where he raises his 4 children. He enjoys growing vegetables, herbs, and propagating plants. Dave has a side business growing and selling heirloom vegetables and herb plants through Blue Shed Gardens and works as a real estate agent in Spring Hill, TN.

This Post Has 13 Comments

  1. Mostly just birds so far, but I hear there are rattle snakes here to watch out for in the summer. Glad for the tip of how to tell if a snake is poisonous. I will be on the look out!

  2. I am very surprised that I haven't seen any snakes, or signs of snakes, in my garden yet. My neighbor has had one and she didn't even have a garden at the time!

    I did have a ground hog living in my garden shed for a couple of years. And I have a raccoon that regularly nests in the street drain in front of our house – when the mallards aren't nesting there!

  3. aaaw..your little snake friend is cute!
    I haven't yet come across any snakes here is Des Plaines, IL.

    The only cool critter that comes to mind was a cute Grey field mouse who curiously watched me rip out my tomato plants last fall. In hindsite, I was saddened with the realization that I probably took away his future winter home =(

    The tiny tail & footprints in the snow kinda tells me he got revenge by making a home somewhere in/under my car parked on the driveway all winter..ugh.

    I love your blog!

  4. Dave,

    I think your right Black Racer Juvenal. Cool posing too!

  5. We haven't come across any snakes yet this year, but last year we found a couple of small black snakes. They kept me from digging for a while, haha! I guess I'm a little squeamish about them.

    We have rabbits around here and saw a couple in our neighbors yard the other day…just waiting until they come over and nibble on my lettuce. UGH!

  6. Lucky you to get a snake! I rarely find them but wouldn't mind a black racer at all. No cool critters here lately except for my pickerel frog. He still lives in the bathtub in the garden.

  7. I used to see snakes all the time, but there are plenty of places for them to hide. We have had a few poisonous ones, too! Mostly we see raccoons, possums and the bothersome rodents! We do have owls hunting here. gail

  8. I saw a snake the other {or it looked like one}. It moved slow & also looked as if it had been cut into. That is possible with all the activity next door. Cutting down trees, putting in fill dirt then sodding. A very lot of $$$ for this area as most don't do anything in their yard except mow when it's needed.
    Glad for your new friend.

  9. Geez…I am NOT trying to see any snakes in my gardens thank you very much…although I always do.

  10. wood ticks and baby snakes – including garter snakes. I don't mind them. We always surprise each other! ha.

  11. Ferne,

    I've been fortunate to never see a rattle snake anywhere near us. Fortunately they give a warning before they strike – still wouldn't want to be even that close!


    we had a groundhog living in the hillside next to us for the last couple years. We named him Murray. I haven't seen him out and about yet but I suspect he's still there.

    Thanks Blythe!

    That little field mouse is probably accustomed to making his home where he can. I'm sure he got through the winter fine! I don't feel so bad about the field mice when they've pooped all over my garage floor all winter!


    I'm glad someone else agrees! It's been a while since I've dealt with snakes and am definitely not up on my IDs. I looked around online but couldn't find a close enough picture but based on the common ones here in TN I figured this looked the closest to a black racer.


    We have rabbits too but fortunately there is plenty of grub for them to find around. I spotted a baby one when out mowing on Sunday, you know what that means – when there's one baby rabbit there's a bunch!


    You frog is pretty cool! They chow down on mosquito larvae which makes them very cool indeed!


    I definitely don't need to see the poisonous ones around here! And in that last post that was golden ragwort which is looking great right now. An immigrant from your garden!


    It sure sounds like they are very busy! By the way the asparagus has two sprouts so far. I'm hoping a little more comes up but that's a good start!


    Just bookmark this post and you can see one whenever you want!


    I can do without the wood ticks! We've had a few ticks around but none have bitten yet. They make me paranoid with the diseases they carry.


  12. I wish I could get over my fear of even good garden snakes but, alas, the wimp in me says … never 🙁

  13. Okay I don't like snakes so your braver than me. I prefer the birds, butterflies & squirrels. 🙂

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