Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Snakes in the swimming pool!

One down side to having a swimming pool in North Carolina is all of the critters who like to go swimming. We have literally fished out thousands of toads. The stupid toads appear to like the swimming, but the water kills them, and they swim-away from the net!

Every day we net out some woodland critter having his morning constitutional in our pool.

But this summer was different; we started getting snakes, big swimming snakes!
So far this year, we have found a live copperhead bathing in our pool (a deadly snake which I dispatched immediately), and today we had this uninvited guest.

I was in the deep-end and got to see this at eye-level, coming right for me.

It’s a good thing I was in the pool, as I think I wet myself . . .

Friend or foe?

While most people kill all snakes, we need “good” snakes to keep down the rodent population that plague farms like ours.

I was taught this timeless poem of snake-killing rules, a timeless mnemonic that can save the life of an innocent snake:

"Red to yellow, kill a fellow. . . . Red to black, venom lack."

But this snake did not have the distinctive poisonous colorations. It’s marked like a diamondback rattlesnake, but no rattles.

The best time to find a snake in the pool is before you get into the pool

A quick Google image search revealed that she is an eastern milk snake, a nice snake:

The interweb says that the milk snake name resulted from a myth that these snakes drink the milk of cows because they like to hang out in the barn eating mice.

Anyway, Janet fished him out of the pool, and he slithered along his merry way . . .