Friday, 2 October 2009

Le Noeud de Viperes



David found a dead grass snake outside in the lane tonight. I wasn't sure what kind of snake it was so I brought the cadaver indoors and having photographed it and checked on the internet I found that the yellow and black collar apparently confirms it's a grass snake. They are the largest British reptile and can be up to five feet long, though this one is only about two feet long. They are not harmful or venomous, and like many other native wild animals are considerably endangered due to habitat loss.

Earlier in the year  I had unexpectedly come upon what seemed like a writhing mass under a pile of leaves and dead weeds in the garden. I was so surprised that I failed to look for proper identification marks and quickly replaced the leaf litter and went off the have a cup of tea to recover. It's not every day you come across a real Noeud de Viperes in the veg plot. It's a shame this young one was run over but  I'm glad they seem to have nested, as they are a threatened species and I'm hoping there will have been others that were more fortunate with the traffic. We certainly always seem to have a plentiful supply of small toads around during the summer, which I suppose make a tasty snack for a grass snake.  I wonder if I should put up a sign "Caution, Snakes Crossing" outside the gate? 

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