Leafhopper Farm loves snakes! We’ve been cultivating a strong intension here for our long reptilian friends and they are responding to the call. After I hunted out all the mature bull frogs, these garter snakes have happily come to the pond for some sun and surf. There is a cash of young pollywogs to eat and enjoy, along with great banks to bask on and a lot of hidey-hole places for a snake to den up.
The age and size of our snake vary, but there are some sizable hunters coming out for the summer this year, and that’s great news for the garden, as garter snakes love to eat slugs. They are also good at removing small vermin, like mice and voles, who also predate the gardens, especially the young sprouts. Snakes congregate at the pond, on the new terrace where the heat of the flagstone is perfect to help with digestion. And rock gardens are yet another draw to these cold blooded hunters.
It is said that snakes do not hunt together, but I’ve witnessed them taking advantage of each other in stalking and ambushing tadpoles in the pond. I don’t think they get together and plan the hunt, but I do see smaller snakes watching and cuing off larger, older snakes when they go to stir up the edges of the pond.
happy snake basking
It may only be coincidence that the snakes have turned up after the last large bullfrog was removed, but I don’t think so. A bullfrog will eat a young snake with no hesitation. The reptiles cannot bask in peace along the bank when it’s patrolled by a large frog. There are still a few smaller bullfrogs in the pond who I will let get a bit bigger to see if they push out the snakes again. Regardless, all these little lives are great for the farm and draw in other wildlife to eat and thrive.
Another great observation in animal behavior around the pond today was an American Robin. I watched this bird hop along the edge of the water until suddenly, he dipped his beak into the pond and pulled out a wriggling tadpole. Dragging it further from the edge, he proceeded to gulp it down, then picked up a worm, and continued his hunt around the bank. The snakes were also watching the bird, but did not move away when he came near. I’ve never heard of a robin hunting in water, but this bird did.