Friday, August 9, 2013

A Snake Among the Tomatoes

A water snake is hanging out in tunnel 5 at New Roots Farm. Renee was excited to show Jo and I the big snake. It was thick around the middle, lying quietly on the black plastic among the tomato plants. Water snakes have an undeserved reputation for being aggressive. As one herpetologist I read said, they are no more aggressive than a chipmunk or a bluebird. If you attempt to pick up any of them they would try to bite in response.
The tunnel 5 water snake appears docile. It is living a little ways from the pond, perhaps because the tunnel offers warm basking habitat and a source of food: mice, voles, salamanders, frogs. Maybe that is why this snake is chunky and docile. It is well fed. If it is a female -- and females are bigger than males -- then she will give birth to live young soon. So, there might be more water snakes among the tomatoes soon. Fortunately this is not the high production tunnel, so human visits are infrequent and the snake can bask in peace.

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