Western North Carolina is rife with snakes. I’ve had several encounters since we moved here two years ago. One is a 8-10 foot black snake that moves slowly and doesn’t seem to mind my presence or my digging. He, or she, lives in my side yard. A month or so ago I had a surprise encounter with a striped snake that looked very much like a rattler. There are rattlers here, but they are supposed to be elusive, and this one was anything but. So he met a quick demise.
Last week I was putting down some fall 10-10-10 on my bushes – a little snack before they stop growing for the season. Three of my lilac bushes were so expensive I pampered them with those round blankets that keep them moist and inhibit weeds from competing for nutrients, as well as protecting them from a potential mowing mistake while they are getting established. I lifted one of these blankets and to my surprise, as well as theirs, I found a nest of baby snakes. They were curled up around one another and seemed not to be too disturbed by the sudden sunlight. But by the time I got back with my camera, only one decided to stay and I got this picture.
The picture doesn’t show that this snake has a black head and reddish body with a line down its back. Hard as I tried, I could not identify them, but since most snakes are territorial, I imagine we’ll meet again next spring.