Sunday, July 28, 2013

I've decided to name her Manasa.

When I moved into this house in 2007, I found a shed snake skin wrapped in a bush alongside the house. I didn't think much of it until the next year, when I found a longer one in the same spot. I realized there must be a sizable snake living in the crawl space under the house. I was pleased to find a shed skin again the following year. A snake generally handles the rodent population and I'm appreciative. One summer I even found three babies in the garage and re-located them elsewhere. Because, you know, a snake in the crawlspace is just fine, but I don't really want snakes cruising around where I'm working. But for the last couple of years... nothing. I thought maybe she died.
This morning, I looked outside and saw a skin and ran to tell my kids our snake was alive and well. They were entirely unimpressed. I tried to straighten out the skin to measure it, but could tell I was going to tear it, so I used a cloth tape measure. A little over five feet. Eastern ratsnakes can get up to 6 feet long, but this one is close to fully growm.
The shed was wound through the sedum, I guess to help pull the skin off. I've decided to leave it there, figuring it will either decompose or the birds will carry bits of it off to line their nests. And since I don't know if this is my original snake or one of her offspring, I'm naming her/them "Manasa," a Bengali snake goddess who is a fertility deity. She can help my garden grow.

34 comments:

  1. " A little over five feet. Eastern ratsnakes can get up to 6 feet long, but this one is close to fully grown."

    WOW!

    Having lived in Florida, I got use to seeing snakes around because they're everywhere. But like you shared, it's one thing to see them AWAY from you, but when they're CLOSE...no way! I would sometimes see one on my back patio, right by the sliding glass door :O

    COOL shots of the skin!

    And I love the name you came up with - per-fect!

    X

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    1. I only mind when they suddenly appear and startle me. As long as it's not a rattle snake!

      And thanks - this may be my new outdoor snake name for all of them. :-)

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  2. ha. nice name...snakes arent all bad you know...they are part of the cycle...i only get rid of the poisonous ones around here...dont want boys accidentally playing with them...

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    1. Well, I do know - that was the point of my post!

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  3. I remember as a child finding garden snakes quite often, but haven't seen one in years. not sure how I'd feel about a snake that long, though!

    Thanks for your comment - my arm is actually getting better, but there are still twinges every now and then as a reminder to take it easy.

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    1. I like the little green grass snakes - so cute. But this particular snake I've not (yet) seen in person.

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  4. some people get the snake shakes but I guess you not only don't mind but realize the benefit they bring. We should borrow a ratsnake and let it take care of the growing population of chipmunks here.

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    1. I don't have that phobia, fortunately. And I wonder if there is a way to encourage a ratsnake to take up residence if you don't already have one.

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  5. Live and let live is good.

    You obviously know your snakes and a five foot one doesn’t worry you overmuch. I’d be less sanguine, I wouldn’t be able to tell a grass worm from a grass snake.

    I did once handle a python in India, but under close supervision by the snake charmer only.

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    1. I had a pet python for a while so I'm not troubled by non poisonous snakes. Particularly since they are one of the "good" garden creatures.

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  6. Good that you're so sanguine about snakes. And good that they keep down the rodents. I've never actually encountered a snake so I'm not sure what my reaction would be. I guess I'd adopt the usual principle of "It'll only harm you if you frighten it."

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    1. Never? I thought snakes were pretty much everywhere.

      Even a nonpoisonous snake will strike you if it's cornered, but not cause any real damage.

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    2. Sure, and didn't St Patrick himself drive all the snakes out of Ireland?

      We have four types in England - grass snakes, slow worms (which look like snakes but are actually legless lizards), adders, (our only venomous snakes), and the very rare smooth snake - but in Ireland, nope. None. :)

      Didn't know if Nick was going to come back and answer, so I did. Hope that's OK!

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  7. Big Baby now posting..........they freak me out, even the garter snakes we get here. You'd have to hold a gun to my head to get me to even touch the skin.

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    1. I like the way they feel (the snakes, not the shed skins) - very smooth.

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  8. Oooer the only snakes I've seen have been in a zoo!

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    1. Really? You don't have snakes where you live?

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  9. I was camping with my buddy and his two kids years ago here in MT when the boy, then 5 or so, came back into camp carrying a smallish snake by the tail end, it dangled about a foot. I walked over and looked at it and quietly told him to drop it. Now. It was a baby rattler, no rattles yet but still venomous. I come across rattlers every year fishing, the buzzing sound they make can start a big adrenalin rush.

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    1. I've encountered rattlers in the Smokies. I would never pick up a snake unless I knew for sure what it was.

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  10. That skin is nifty! I have been startled by snakes when hiking a couple of times and I'd certainly be frightened if one showed up suddenly in my house...but as a rule, if I know a snake isn't venomous I am not bothered by them.

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    1. It's the startle thing that gets me, too. But when I know they are there, not really a problem.

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  11. You are brave to live with a rattlesnake, especially one so large. We found a 10 inch skin near our cabin, not from a rattler. Not quite as impressive as yours, but we were fascinated none the less.

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    1. NOT a rattlesnake. Ratsnake. Huge difference!

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  12. I am SO not a fan, mainly because I didn't grow up with them and live in a part of the world where they don't exist, they truly give me the heebie jeebies. Irrational I know...
    XO
    WWW

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  13. How did you relocate the babies? My dog found a snake egg in the yard once and ate it before I could stop him. Yuck! I've definitely never seen a snake that big in this part of the world, but like you I don't find them particularly frightening as long as they don't startle me.

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    1. I caught them in a plastic container and drove them down the road to release them. Well, one I flung into the woods.

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  14. My simple comment: I am ascared of snakes :-)

    Love
    kj

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  15. we once found a 6 ft snake skin at my dad's neighbor's housein maryland. my son was young enough to be highly impressed. glad you've got manasa helping out. at home here we rely on the local feral cats to keep the rodents down.

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    1. Cats do a number on song birds, so I actually prefer the snake. (I know snakes will eat birds and eggs, but the volume is way less than cats.)

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  16. So. You're one of those women who can be super excited a six foot snake is living under her garage. My cat brought it a six inch garter snake last night, and I was shrieking and standing on the picnic table till my husband caught it and threw it over the fence. You are...like a god to me. You're MY Manasa.

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  17. Wow, that's a big snake! I have no problem with snakes, either, so long as they're not venomous or aggressive. I've often found grass snakes in the garden and I'm always happy about that!

    They are so shy though .. I've never managed to get a picture, and I've never found a shed skin. Pity. They're pretty things.

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