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Author Topic: Big fat snake  (Read 2945 times)
thomashton
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« on: August 12, 2008, 06:33:57 PM »

Found a big fat snake today as I was coming through the lines of berries. I grabbed him by the tail (just a garter snake) to take a look at him.

I have been gone with the Army the past two months so only seen one snake this year (about in April) who was pretty small. I wonder if this was him, but bigger due to our large mice and vole explosion we've had here.

He tried slithering into the wood pile but I had a better place for him. I took him to the goat barn, lifted a garbage can I keep grain in and found a nice mouse hole. He was more than happy to slither away from me and down the hole. I'm sure he'll have happy hunting in there. grin
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asprince
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« Reply #1 on: August 12, 2008, 08:16:30 PM »

I hate snakes! I know they have a place and some are harmless but...............you know.

Steve
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JP
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« Reply #2 on: August 13, 2008, 12:49:55 AM »

Glad you didn't kill him, snakes are good, I like 'em.


...JP
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SgtMaj
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« Reply #3 on: August 13, 2008, 06:21:48 AM »

Do garter snakes eat mice?  Thought they were too big for them... I know they do love slugs.
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JP
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« Reply #4 on: August 13, 2008, 09:29:24 AM »

Do garter snakes eat mice?  Thought they were too big for them... I know they do love slugs.


They can eat small ones but would doubt they could eat an adult mouse.


...JP
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JoelinGA
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« Reply #5 on: August 13, 2008, 09:58:14 AM »

My daughter who is about to turn 5 likes to go with me to check out our hives. Other week, as we go over to them, I spotted this HUGE black racer just lying in the shade next to the boxes. Thing was like between 5 and 6 ft long.

My daughter kept wanting to go pet it, she makes me so proud. Cheesy

But we left it alone and it wasn't bothered by us one bit, just stayed there and when we got some cloud cover that cooled the air down some it started to move on.

Use to be that we would see black races and king snakes all the time. But I've just seen one of each this year. Have seen more mocassins, always sunning themselves on the drain pipe in our pond.
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JP
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« Reply #6 on: August 13, 2008, 10:15:31 AM »

Cool kid you have there, yeah, just make sure she doesn't want to pet the mocassins. grin


...JP
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KONASDAD
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« Reply #7 on: August 13, 2008, 10:38:30 AM »

Love snakes. I used to catch them for Philadelphia zoo and pet stores as a kid. I stopped, which is a good thing. Garter snakes are unlikely to eat mice, maybe a pinkie(baby mouse). They eat loads of insects, frogs etc.

I hate when people kill snakes simply b/c they are snakes. Then act like "I'm the Man" after killing an animal that couldn't draw blood if it did bite you. Sorry for rant!

Joelin, not all water snakes are "moccasins"> Most are harmelss but agressive snakes. They have an anticogulant contained w/in their saliva and a bite bleeds alot, but barelt breaks skin . The common water snake is a viscious, non-venmous snake that is often found where you describe it. They love eating fish and frogs, mice too. Hers a link w/ pictures of  the brown water snake and common southern water snake

http://www.southalley.com/album_nerodia.html
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« Reply #8 on: August 13, 2008, 10:43:36 AM »

There is a pile of granite chunks in the back pasture.  I found a huge orange racer there a few weeks ago.  I see it every once in a while.  I love finding the little baby garters, they are so cute & skin so soft! I've seen blue, red & yellow racers also.  Haven't seen any other type of snake right around here though.  We don't have poisonous ones on this side of the mtns.  We have a big pile of rocks from putting in the new house & the garters hibernate in it.  I made it hard for the neighbor kids to get in there anymore so they can't torture em. grin
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dpence
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« Reply #9 on: August 13, 2008, 11:21:57 AM »

We have big black rat snakes around here.  They tend to surprise a person if you are not expecting it, but I leave them be since they keep down the mice and rats in barns and out buildings.  I ran across a garter snake under one of my hives earlier this year.  I like snakes, they are beneficial. 

David 
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JP
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« Reply #10 on: August 13, 2008, 11:47:33 AM »

There is a pile of granite chunks in the back pasture.  I found a huge orange racer there a few weeks ago.  I see it every once in a while.  I love finding the little baby garters, they are so cute & skin so soft! I've seen blue, red & yellow racers also.  Haven't seen any other type of snake right around here though.  We don't have poisonous ones on this side of the mtns.  We have a big pile of rocks from putting in the new house & the garters hibernate in it.  I made it hard for the neighbor kids to get in there anymore so they can't torture em. grin


Jody, you sure it wasn't a yellow rat snake, haven't heard of a huge orange racer before, was in the Everglades yrs ago and caught many of the big orange/yellow rats, love 'em!!

 Interesting tidbit for you guys, one of the most poisonous of snakes is a Krait, which rarely if ever bites and people keep them as pets: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Krait


...JP
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HAB
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« Reply #11 on: August 13, 2008, 01:00:41 PM »

About fifteen years ago my daughter Angel wanted to earn some extra spending money.  Asked about doing some mowing.  Sure, so shes goes out on the small utility tractor mowing around a small pond here on the farm.  Soon shes back at the house all upset with tears about this "GIANT" snake that keeps watching her.  I just never heard of such a thing and thought she was just upset about some rat snake that crossed her path, she really can't stand snakes. So out I go with her and sure enough he's still there.  A really large Coach Whip snake. Probably about eight feet long and three inches in diameter.  He's in a rat hole on a terrace.  Slithers out and stands like a Cobra about three feet tall. The hole is on top of the terrace so that puts his head up about eye to eye with us. As we approach he backs back into the hole, we back up out he comes.  I sat there about fifteen feet from him for about a half hour as Angel continued to mow.  Each time she circled by back in and then back out he would go.  That snake stood up and watched her the whole time she mowed.  Acted like I wasn't there although he clearly saw me and kept up with my movements. All my life I've never seen a snake show so much interest in human activity. 
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KONASDAD
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« Reply #12 on: August 13, 2008, 01:54:38 PM »

HAB- I bet she was about to have little snakes or had just had some little'ns. Animals are no different than humans when it comes to protecting their young.
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Kev
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« Reply #13 on: August 13, 2008, 08:20:07 PM »

Joelin, not all water snakes are "moccasins"> Most are harmelss but agressive snakes. They have an anticogulant contained w/in their saliva and a bite bleeds alot, but barelt breaks skin . The common water snake is a viscious, non-venmous snake that is often found where you describe it. They love eating fish and frogs, mice too. Hers a link w/ pictures of  the brown water snake and common southern water snake

http://www.southalley.com/album_nerodia.html


You're right. There's only one venomous water snake in North America, the cottonmouth. Another snake people confuse with it is the diamond backed water snake. The Missouri Conservationist has a nice article on the cottonmouth and other water snakes right here

Here's another cool link. This family in TN saved a snake that ate a golf ball in a chicken nest box. They have the photos of the husband palpitating the golf ball out of the snakes gut and out its mouth.

I'll add my 2-cents, please don't kill snakes. Even the venomous ones serve a purpose.

Kev

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thomashton
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« Reply #14 on: August 14, 2008, 11:43:16 AM »

Do garter snakes eat mice?  Thought they were too big for them... I know they do love slugs.


They can eat small ones but would doubt they could eat an adult mouse.


...JP

We have had sooooo many mice and voles lately I wouldn't be surprised if the snakes were just eating their babies.

I went to put new supers on two of my hives two days ago. They are located in the chicken coop which is on stilts 2 feet off the ground. These (medium) supers were then stacked three high on top of a table another 3 feet off of the floor. In the top super I found a mouse nest with 3 dead babies. Geez, these buggers get into everything. These supers were at least 7' off of the ground, in a building. God bless the snakes and chickens that eat the little ones.

PS I'm a little surprised and impressed by the level of activity on this thread. Thanks. I find all your stories really interesting.
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Nelly
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« Reply #15 on: August 23, 2008, 11:44:12 AM »

I don't mind snakes at all and am always excited when I spot one.  My boys are also intrigued by them and have learned to let them be.  Found a big black one coiled in the garage last fall and grabbed it, thinking it was a joke being played on me... wasn't I surprised when it suddenly came to life!! Whoa!!

Nelly
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qa33010
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« Reply #16 on: August 25, 2008, 12:47:55 AM »

     I was raised in a part of Minnesota that had no poisonous snakes.  We used to catch them all the time and carry them around with us in our pockets (along with worms or whatever else we may have thought interesting including minnows) all day.  Mom used to have a fit sometimes when she went to do laundry and empty out our pockets.  She told me the worst is when she was in a hurry and thought she had the pockets empty.  She'ld throw them in the clothes basket and after a couple more pants the basket would start showing signs of life.  She would reach in and there was a baby garter snake or five.  She eventually got used to it... except for the smell of them messing themselves in defense.  HOOOOO she would get upset. They got large up there compared to what I've seen down here, three feet up there and about two feet down here so far. 

     I love snakes also because of this.  I just had to get a new mind set about poisonous ones when I was stationed in Mississippi, South Carolina, Georgia and Arkansas.  I don't fear them but am a lot more careful when I think about checking one out.  My son on the other hand used to bring me copperheads when he was a wee lad, now thirteen.  He still has a way with critters of all kinds.

     A professor over at Georgia U. told me that an easy way to distinguish a venomous from non was to look at the shape of head/body.  If the head was rounded and streamlined into the body it was a safe snake (maybe mean as all get out, but safe).  But if the head was not rounded and if there was a drastic thickening of the body right behind the head it was venomous.  THIS DOES NOT WORK FOR CORAL SNAKES!!!!

   Sorry.  I've been rambling more than normal lately.
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« Reply #17 on: August 25, 2008, 01:53:08 PM »

My boys love snake too, even though they don't come across them very often here in the suburbs....

Mostly garter snakes around here.  They have a unique defense...pick them up and they will defecate white really really bad snakey smelling stuff all over...yuck!

We spend some time in Gulf Shores for spring break, and my wife and I had seen a couple of snakes, and there are poisonous snakes down there, and the first thing my boys wanted to do was to go tromping through the tall grass and weeds looking for them !!! (we discouraged that, they also wanted to go into the weeds and lake looking for alligators!)

This summer while swimming in a local lake, my 9yr old stepped off a small log apparently right onto a small water snake, which then bit him on the ankle several times.  At that point most people (myself included) would have run screaming like a girl (apologies to the girls out there!).  But no, he reaches down to tries to catch it and gets bit in the hand several times....

Ahh..the young and fearless....
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Rick
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