Friday, June 01, 2012


My life consists of tea, art, children, garden, makeup and photography for the most part these days. Which is cool, but sometimes even I, laugh at the seeming dichotomies that exist.  Currently, my hands are still embedded with evidence of dirt digging and weeding from yesterday.  There are no signs of the snakes I held. Yes, snakes.

I started to pull back some black plastic in the garden area used for killing weeds. Something moved underneath and I recognized the tell-tale snake movement. Having encountered a small garter snake a couple days earlier, I assumed it was this little garden friend. I called Keith's attention over so he could see it as well. I dramatically pulled the black plastic back quickly to discover not one, but at least SIX various snakes who went diving for the remaining edge of the plastic to hide from us. It was like something out of an Indiana Jones movie!!

Of course he goes running for the camera. I left the snakes hiding happily under the remaining plastic until he returned and then we removed the last vestiges of plastic. After carefully identifying them as non-venomous, I dived in and picked a few up, one at a time to let Keith get closer with the lens. It was pretty darned amazing!  Some of them were brightly colored and some dull as they were getting ready to shed again. All were garter snakes of varying age from what I can tell.

The picture above shows most of them, but Keith missed one on the left side of the pic! They do blend in well.

We put some stacks of rock and wood around several of the snake holes they dove into, as to encourage them to continue frequenting the garden.

Later, we let the chickens (neighbor's chickens we are caring for) out of their coop to forage through our yard. We fed and watered as usual and collected several eggs as well.

Tomorrow these same hands will apply makeup to faces of brides and that does make me laugh a little bit. From eggs, dirt and snakes to primers, foundation and eye life is never dull. One foot in the homesteading world, one foot in the fashion world. I love it but find it hard to meet people who really  understand that dichotomous pull. Fortunately, Keith walks that path with me and is desirous of both worlds as well. What a strange and beautiful gift that is.


Snad said...

Wonderful! I have lots of black plastic down in my garden and must walk carefully so I don't step on any snakes.

One year Mr. Dewey and I were weeding an area that we had let get WAY overgrown. I had been sitting on the ground for about 20 minutes pulling weeds all around me. I leaned over to get some weeds that were just out of arm's reach and felt something move. A beautiful brown snake had been coiled up at my knee the entire time; when I leaned over just that bit I must have leaned on his tail, which was his sign to skedaddle.

We also have them in our woodpile. Our old neighbor would shoot them. I would beg him not too, but he was one of those who thought "the only good snake is a dead snake" - that is until his pond started to show signs of damage from muskrats. The neighbor is gone, the muskrats are gone, the snakes are back, and the pond is healed.

Snakes are awesome.

Ren said...

I agree!! I was starting to worry about damage from the chipmunks but I believe the snakes have taken care of that one. Which I much prefer over dealing with it myself. Nature seems to work it out most of the time, even when we are trying to go against nature and control what we grow in the garden. :)