Thursday, December 20, 2007

Snakes and Ladders

This was my surprise, underneath the weed I picked up was a 'Grass snake'; and if you think the snake is looking a little bored with the situation, that may well be because this was the third time I had uncovered it. The first time was when I found the serpent, the second was when I checked to see if I was really frightened by again picking up the dead vegetation I had just dropped and the third was having to take the photograph.

I have encountered this snake or a look a like on several occasions before. Once on entering the tool shed it slithered (for that is what snakes do!) over my boots before disappearing into the wilderness we call a garden. On another occasion it emerged from the lavender bush I was pruning and gave me a look of disdain before disappearing into another garden border.

Grass snakes eat lizards, small rodents and toads

and are therefore harmless unless that is you feature on their menu, I was nearly so confident in my previous encounters with local snakes.

Identification of the beasts is important. Manel asserts that their are five types of snake in this area and of them only one is truly dangerous requiring that their victim be airlifted to hospital
immediately to give the anti serum a chance. 1 in 5! I must be living in borrowed time. Even now I sometimes took at my picture of an ladder snake and a picture of an adder and there are strong similarities. Take the L out of Ladder and what have you got?

If you think the scale of the creatures is a little weird, i.e. the toad must be as big as horse if you compare it to the snake. That may be because I was able to get closer to the toad as I was not as frightened. Maybe it was maybe it wasn't? Nothing admitted.


  1. Hello there! I have one of those snakes in my garden...but I live in Texas so it could be a completely different creature all together. We identified ours as a Checkered Garter Snake (aka Garden Snake) and I have a couple of pictures posted on my blog of it eating a Toad. *blah*

    I have enjoyed reading your blog! (I am a brand new gardener) Spain is amazing, isn't it? My family is from Spain and I can't wait to take my children for a visit. (my maiden name is Quijano)

    BTW: The villa looks amazing!

    Cheers-Margarita from Texas, USA

  2. Good grief! I love toads but ... if I had met your snake even once, it would be 'all over' for me working in my garden. Happy Holidays!