Seeing the Natrix.

No this isn’t a spelling mistake. The range of creatures which we have seen here has increased by two over the last few days. Yesterday in full daylight we had a bat and today we saw yet another snake.

Walking down close by the pond the wife and I startled a grass snake only a few feet from us. It was in the water just in front of us. It swam off to “duck corner” where the duck nest was. I could almost touch it. The wife was a tad freaked but later felt quite privileged to see it. The swimming was very elegant.

A web search suggests that is was either natrix natrix or natrix Helvetica. It had a nice collar and looked very much like this chap. {Not my photo.}

It was about 80cm long and probably didn’t predate the duck’s eggs, it being too cold back then.

It might however be munching the nascent frogs and toads.

It is pretty special to see a snake swimming in our pond.

Snake Totem

This morning whilst out playing with the camera I came across this, a recently shed snakeskin.

This is the fourth encounter of a snake in the garden, and it comes, probably, from a snake not long out of hibernation. We also have three slow worms and a salamander. The skin is less than twenty metres from where I am now sat, out on the lawn just uphill of all the blossom.

Snakes and dragons get a bad press from the church.

Having been a child in outback Australia and in Zambia, close encounters of a snake like kind are not new. I very nearly ran over a black mamba with my bicycle. It was crossing the path in front of me, and I missed its tail by inches. In Australia aged 5-9 I used to bring snakeskins which I found in the dry creek or bush home to my mother. This freaked her a little.

Here is something on the snake totem from Animal Speak by Ted Andrews.