Snake Season Has Arrived Early Too

Okiedawn OK Zone 7February 25, 2012

I have not seen a snake in my yard or garden yet.

However, our son was working in the woodland area this morning and he ran into one. It was non-venomous and was hurrying to get away from him because he was wielding a chain saw.

Tim was at a regional firefighter meeting yesterday in Durant and one of the firefighters there who was from someplace in southcentral Oklahoma said he'd already had a dog bitten by a copperhead that was out incredibly early.

Of course it is too early for snakes. However, they're apparently out and on the move already, and I guess I'd better start paying more attention to where I put my hands and feet when I'm out in the yard and garden.

Prior to now, I've only seen a snake out this early once. I was in the woods and encountered a pygmy rattlesnake around the very end of February or earliest March about 10 years ago.

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I can't tell you how i HATE to read this.

    Bookmark   February 25, 2012 at 8:07PM
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Okiedawn OK Zone 7

Hi Mo!

I know. I hated to write it, but I wanted everyone to know the snakes are out here, because if they are out here where it was 23-27 degrees last night, they could be out just about anywhere.


    Bookmark   February 25, 2012 at 8:30PM
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This is just another indicator that this year is going to be odd...and warm early...and Heaven only knows what else it will throw at us. I personally appreciate the "heads up". Several of us garden in rural areas so we need to be aware....sure makes me wish I had already cleaned up all the leaf debris.


    Bookmark   February 25, 2012 at 10:37PM
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Okiedawn OK Zone 7

Paula, I was really shocked that snakes are out already, but even more so that the one Chris saw was out early in the morning after a night that was so cold. I hadn't been worrying too much about snakes, so I've been sticking my hands into places to pull winter grass growing under a shrub or whatever. I'll be more careful now.

I have a lot of stacked-up hay bales to use for mulch. I was hoping to get most of that hay layered onto the garden beds and the pathways before the snakes were up and moving around too much. It is too early to put heavy mulch on the beds because the mulch would keep them from warming up. Right now I want them to warm up so they are not mulched unless they're already planted with cool-season crops.

I am so bummed out by this. We are usually fairly snake-free until April. I feel cheated! We just lost 2 months of being snake-free.

I was raking up decomposed mulch today from the pathways and adding it, as compost, to garden beds. Usually I scoop it up with my gloves hands and drop it into the bed right beside the pathway. Since the compost is thick enough that a snake could be in it, I switched from using my hands to using a compost scoop, which seems slower to me.

Even all these signs of an early warm-up don't mean we are done with winter. We often have snow in March and seem to always have cranky cold or rainy weather around Easter. Easter cannot get here fast enough for me.

Rural gardening with plentiful wildlife around is challenging enough as it is. We don't need snakes out in mid-winter to make it even more of a challenge.


    Bookmark   February 25, 2012 at 11:16PM
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