Snakes alive!

On Wednesday morning we were just having a quiet coffee near the French window when there was a thump on the patio. We occasionally get birds bumping into the window and are always alert but this noise did not sound like a bird near miss.

Kourosh was fast off his mark with his camera!

“Snakes alive!” we said, (or we might have if our brains had been as quick off the mark.)

The “thump” was the ungainly landing of two coulouvres who had been passionately mating on our roof. These ones are Hierophis viridiflavus (I think) and could be called Whip snakes in English.

They are completely inoffensive and have always lived in the walls and roof of the house.

After realising where they were, one slid into the old well.

The other split and took off round the front of the house to look for a convenient hole to escape into.

We just hope that they do a bit of natural pest control as they shelter around the house. These two were close to two metres long and certainly looked well nourished.

Elsewhere in the garden the lime trees are in flower, if you manage to miss the delicious perfume you won’t miss the buzz of the bees.

In the front garden the olive tree is buzzing too with bumble bees…

and honey bees.

In the back garden the yellow raspberries are starting to ripen. They start before the red raspberries.

The raspberries are not ripening fast enough for me so I am picking the blackcurrants raw for my yoghurt and I find they go very nicely with a spoonful of our own honey.

23 thoughts on “Snakes alive!

  1. I know they do good things in the garden but confess to being freaked out when a harmless garter snake raises its head in the pond, just inches from my face. They chase, and sometimes catch the goldfish!

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  2. It must be strange hearing snakes on the roof! We used to get slow worms lying on top of the compost in my bin, and when I opened the lid I always jumped, thinking they were a snake. Must be ingrained in us to be wary of them. Do you have poisonous snakes too?

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  3. In this area I think there is only the Vipera aspis which is poisonous. It does not get bigger than a metre long. I feel lucky to see a snake, they usually get disturbed and shoot off before you get near them. I used to see slow worms in Portland U.K. bit I have not seen any here. Amelia

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      1. Fascinating pictures of the snakes, as Cathy said we may be innately wary of snakes and their lookalikes. There are places on the coast in Devon with signs warning of adders, the UK’s only venomous snake. I have seen them now and then and I always get a slightly weird feeling!

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        1. A problem with Adders is that they are relatively common and difficult to tell apart by the non initiated from other snakes and slow worms, especially when they are young. The noise most people make when walking keeps them at bay. Amelia

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  4. janesmudgeegarden

    They are great photos. Unfortunately, I have a fear of snakes that I just can’t shake. Comes from living in a country that has fiercely venomous ones.

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  5. Oh my… that must have been a shock to the mating snakes to fall off in mid-passion! Note to self: do not mate on roofs. 🙂 Glad they were ok. Like others said here, I’m also squeamish about snakes having grown up where there were lots of poisonous ones and several encounters. … I’m just catching up with my favorite garden bloggers and had the amusement of seeing your snakes just as I had posted about one as well. I swear I didn’t copy! Your yellow raspberries and blackcurrants look delicious. I haven’t tried to grow blackcurrants. Our raspberries are looking very dry and not really producing much due to the continued drought. I’m so ready for a wet winter.

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    1. We are not eating our raspberries this year, but something else is! I have been happy to note the growing number of blackbirds in our garden but I think our feathered friends are coming at a price. I may be wrong as I cannot see the raspberries from the house. The blackcurrants are beside them and not being touched, the blackcurrants are fine raw on yoghurt with some honey, so share and share alike. Amelia

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