Snakes, in Our Yard!

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Over the past few months, I have caught four small snakes in our yard while gardening. These are small, non-aggressive little guys. I’m 95% sure they are a common species called “Brown Snake”, (Storeria dekayi), but I’d hate to have to rely on that if one bit me!

Each one I have found, I have caught and picked up, (with gardening GLOVES on, of course!), and let go in the woods behind our yard. None have made the slightest attempt to bite me. I’ve played with snakes in my youth, and these snakes are much less aggressive than even Garter Snakes. I see no reason why we can’t coexist with them. But …..

My wife is from the Philippines, and she HATES snakes, with a good reason. Naja philippinensis, or Philippine Cobra, is its name, and it’s quite a nasty snake! Also referred to as the Spitting Cobra, it is supposedly the most toxic of the cobra species, highly aggressive, and, depending on which source you believe, quite common in the forests of the island where she grew up. It’s called “Dupong” in her native language, Bisaya, and everyone learns from an early age to avoid it.

My wife will NOT coexist with any snake, no matter how docile or harmless it may be.

So what to do? My wife wants to buy a product called “snake away”, and scatter it all around our yard. I don’t think that is wise. I believe that over time, as we tame the abandoned yard, replacing weeds and overgrown shrubs with better maintained gardens, (our house had been abandoned for two years before we purchased it), the snakes will leave. Snakes and humans have basically a mutual dislike; given an opportunity, most snakes will quickly slither away from us. Okay, maybe an occasional Copperhead will stand its ground for a while, then leisurely crawl away, as if it is doing us a favor, but these snakes, thank God, are not Copperheads. I believe that soon they will be gone.

But we do have a four year old. I don’t want him playing with snakes. This is Georgia, not Pennsylvania where I grew up, and the snakes are dangerous here. It’s not a good idea to have him see me picking up snakes.

I guess I’ll have to keep my “snake handling” ways a secret.

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