Monday, July 14, 2014

Snake matters and snakes matter - really

I firmly believe that the presence of snakes in a yard is a good barometer of the health of that yard.

I do have to admit upfront that I am a big fan of snakes (my son is a true snake expert and licensed nuisance wildlife control operator in Connecticut)

There are 14 snakes that call Connecticut home; nearly all of them are not only harmless. but in fact beneficial to the residents of this great state. Keep in mind that the two venomous snakes that live here, both pit vipers, are more interested in avoiding you than you are in avoiding them. (The northern copperhead lives in some very few spots in Connecticut, as does the timber rattlesnake.)*

Again: snakes are our friends and the copperhead and rattlesnake want to avoid you.

My joy at the presence of snakes is not just about getting to spot a garter (shown in top photo) or a black racer slithering or sunning itself. It also makes me happy because we do not use pesticides, fungicides or any other -cides in our yard.

I do not recall, in fact, every using fertilizer on our lawn.  And yes, it has moss and there are weeds mixed in too. These sometimes unwanted elements of a lawn are not of concern to me- when my children were little, it meant not worrying about them rolling in the grass. It also means I am not sending any dreadful chemicals into the watershed. (through storm drains or the adjacent Regional Water Company property)

Check out my resident garter snake here:

I try to protect my property from harmful things people sometimes use - and try always to be careful about leaves it - as I do not want anything that leaves the place I live to harm Long Island Sound (storm drains often lead there)

The conclusion I have drawn about these snakes indicating good health of a property is based on the terrible effect many chemicals have on reptiles and amphibians.  Further, the presence of snakes means they are performing a good service: they eat many of the other crawly things that inhabit these parts.

So next time you spot a snake, don't scream, They can't hear you anyway. Smile instead and remember they want nothing to do with you either!

*(DEEP also reports that there are reptiles here that are not indigenous)

I like turtles too:

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