Tuesday, 6 May 2014

Snakes in the kitchen...

Grass Snake Natrix natrix, new for the kitchen list.
Our kitchen by night is a great place for Yellow Limacus flavus and Leopard Slugs Limax maximus. Last year I was surprised to find a couple of Common Toads Bufo bufo under the fridge. They were followed by Common Frogs Rana temporaria heading towards the bathroom. Of course, there are usually Wood Mice Apodemus sylvaticus in the roof and House Mice Mus musculus under the floorboards. Now, in a gratifying leap up the trophic levels, this juvenile Grass Snake Natrix natrix emerged from beneath the dishwasher this morning; incontrovertible evidence that the ecosystem is becoming richer, more complex and more interesting under my management regime. Should I be looking forward to the arrival of Hedgehogs and Badgers, or is it time to consider some sort of ecological intervention?

Grass Snake Natrix natrix. No animals were harmed in the making of this blog.
When we tried to catch it, the snake proved to be quite aggressive, opening its mouth and repeatedly feigning strikes. When that failed, it rolled onto its back, pretending to be dead, and produced the typical foul smelling greenish exudate. In the end, we did manage to get it out to the compost heap, and I think I remembered to wash my hands before making the boys' sandwiches...

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