Monday, May 25, 2015


I have been working in my woodland garden for 4 years now, in and out of the creek gathering rocks and moss, and never saw a snake, not once. Today I was taking a break, chilling by the creek bed with my wine cooler after having weeded the creek bed and gathered moss for my bench planter when up the middle of the creek swims a snake!! Then another!! I think there were 3 or 4 of them...I took some pictures, but got creeped out and removed myself from the area. I need to educate myself on snakes it would seem.

I came immediately inside and did some research...

Watch how the snake swims. To tell the difference between a venomous water moccasin/cottonmouth and a harmless water snake: Check to see if it is swimming with only its head above water, or whether most of its body is floating, too. If just the head is showing, it is most likely a harmless water snake, but if the body is floating too, it could be a water moccasin (almost all venomous snakes swim with their lungs inflated, leaving the majority of their bodies afloat). A water moccasin will have elliptical pupils and the harmless water snake will have round pupils. Either way, leave it alone and allow it to leave the area.

So I think it's a non-venomous snake. Round pupils - check

Swimming in a "group" with it's head above water - check

Leave it alone and leave the area - check

I just joined another excellent group on FB...Snake Will find out if I am correct or not in my research. I'm think a Brown Water Snake....I'm posting this when I discover what it is from the group assesment.

And they say it is a Northern Watersnake, or a Banded Watersnake

Northern Water Snakes and Banded Water Snakes live near lakes, ponds, marshes, streams, rivers, and canals; just about anywhere there is water. They are active during the day and at night. They are most often seen basking on rocks, stumps, or brush.
During the day, water snakes hunt among plants at the water's edge, looking for small fish, frogs, worms, leeches, crayfish, salamanders, young turtles, and small birds and mammals. At night, they concentrate on minnows and other small fish sleeping in shallow water


Jean said...

If you start posting snake pics, I will stop visiting:)

Sandy said...

EEEk Do not like snakes..

Pam said...

YIKES!!! SNAKES!!! I don't like snakes, venomous or non-venomous, and you saw 4 of them!!! I would run for the hills! Wait, you ARE in the hills! My 20 year old granddaughter loves snakes and has had them as pets (Boas and an Corn Snake). Thank God she just has her dog and cat now! She clearly does not take after grandma.
Seriously, just watch out for Cotton Mouths, Copperheads, and Timber Rattlers.
Pam said...

I started reading this then got pushed off the pc.. lol.. SNAKES!! Yikes I am glad you have some place to help you identify them. Be care on your garden behind the creek. Don't want anything to happen to you!! Fascinating read though.. heads up.. aaaaaaaaannd floating bodies.. = get the heck out of there!!!

Anna said...

All that work you've done has paid made it inviting for even the critters.
When I was in high school, my boyfriend younger twin brothers used to have snakes as pets, as well as rats. It was nothing for me to be visiting there and for them to come stick a rat in my pocket and plop a snake in my lap. So I learned to not be afraid VERY fast. I do draw the line at poisonous snakes though, and give them plenty of room!!

Carole Z said...

Super photos...I actually like snakes as long as they aren't poisonous, I find them fascinating, hugs Carole Z X

Mary said...

Thanks you Sandee for the education. My husband is the biggest chicken around snakes. He said, he would never get close enough to see their eyes. I'm ok with snakes, We both enjoyed the education and love your fountain. Looking forward to seeing more.