Friday, June 27, 2014

After All This... Snakes Still?

Every morning, directly after I exercise, I go out in the backyard and water my pots with the hose. I also squirt the water on a few plants that look particularly thirsty. Today, when I went out there, it was cool after a big rainstorm yesterday. I thought I'd just give my planters a little extra water for the day. I was thinking about our snake situation. If you know me at all, you'll know that snakes are my #1 fear. It doesn't matter what kind or how big. I detest them all. I know, I know... I've heard the whole schpeel about how they are garden friendly and eat insects, etc. I'd rather have the insects. I'd rather have an insect infestation. I'd rather have anything else out there, but snakes. Ugh. Last year my dear family dispatched 7 snakes for me. (If you wonder what dispatch means, you should watch Princess Bride once more) I thought that was quite a large number of snakes, but I blamed it on the middle school that was being built a street away. It occupies what used to be a large field that oftentimes was used for corn crops. When they built the school, I'm sure there were hundreds (probably thousands, but I don't want to think about that) of snakes looking for a new home. I think with our pond, a large number of them decided to take up residence in our yard.

Some might say it is coincidence that we got rid of our pond a few months ago, but it really isn't. My biggest reason to get rid of it was because my baby grand #1 was walking, and I didn't want to worry about his safety, or the safety of all the baby grands to come. Coming in a very close second, was because I was sick and tired of snakes. Done. Caput. 

We also built a garage in our backyard this past year, so I figured with the garage construction, the pond removal, the tractors and rigs in our backyard for the projects, and all of the cement poured in the new driveway and play area, that the snakes would surely find another place to live. I've never been so wrong about anything in my life. Ugh.

Back to this morning. I thought about the snakes, and thought about the FOUR snakes that various members of my family have dispatched thus far this year, and I wondered if I just might have to be okay with sharing my backyard with those slithering creatures. Would I be able to? If I made enough commotion and noise, and they knew I was working out there, would they just go their way, and I could go on about my business? Could we all be back there without getting into each other's business? If I didn't ever see them, I would probably be fine. Maybe that was the solution. To just be okay with them being there. 

I continued watering, musing on this new idea, and turned around and within three feet was this creature looking right at me...

Can you see how his eyes are right on me?  It was at that moment that I came to the definite conclusion that the backyard isn't big enough for the both of us. This was his lucky day, however, since no one was home at the time to "take care" of him.

And last week, this is what I came across...

And no... they are not the same snake. I know this because this second photo is of a snake that is now longer with us, thanks to my daughter. That's all I need to say about that one. 

And besides the ones that have been dispatched, we have seen another one out by the play yard. What in the world? Seriously. What is going on? When I talk to my neighbors, none of them have seen more than maybe one snake a year. I can't figure it out. I've tried to make my yard a place snakes would hate to live in, but they just keep on a-coming. I'm just about ready to borrow my daughter's three cats for the summer to see if they can whip things into shape.

There is a product called Snake Away, that at first seemed to be a miracle product. 

I had bought it previously to use when the going got tough, so we pulled it out yesterday. As Bob began reading the instructions, it basically said not to use it around the perimeter of a yard that already has snakes in it, or you might create a "wall" that they won't be able to get out of. Whaaaatttt?? I mean, who would use that in a yard where you haven't had snake problems yet? I guess if you were any of my adjacent neighbors you might use it to prevent the snakes in our sanctuary from moving on into your own yard. Needless to say, we didn't use much of the Snake Away. I'm not sure how we're going to be at a point where we'll use it. Again... I think I need a pack of cats living in my yard (that I don't have to take care of).


  1. Hate to say it but I'm pretty sure most snakes are like skunks & squirrels, they're drawn to the same places they've previously lived in - especially if they've found water there before. Wow- I'll take the squirrel problem we have now over yours anyday! Sorry! I hope someone else in your neighborhood puts in a pond soon! I can't take those horrid creatures either! I'm pretty sure it's a Bowen thing.
    Love you, Susan

  2. Yuck! Snakes give me the heebie jeebies!