For a least a couple of years a little garter snake has made the hay bales in the donkey shed his home. Often I have lifted up a flake and there he'll be taking a nap. Yes, sometimes he startles me with a quick slithery exit, but I feel comfortable with his presence.
And then there were three.
Apparently my little snake friend either corralled some pals into joining him or he hooked up with his lady friend and started a family, because now there are three slithering bodies in the hay. I'm not squeamish around mice or frogs or snakes, but I have to confess uncovering three of them unnerves me. I'm trying to get over it.
Recently it was "molting season" for my little friends.
And then there was a third skin down alongside a bale.
Yes, its a little harder to see.
Isn't it interesting to see the variations in markings in the close-up above.
Although I will embrace most manner of critter, I'm putting my foot down at salamanders. We use an old shallow wheelbarrow bed as a cover for the bigger manure wheelbarrow (primarily so the dog can't feast on it, but also to keep out the rain). Recently I had left it uncovered and when I approached the big wheelbarrow saw a salamander in the empty upturned cover. I helped him out by tipping the cover but no, no, no I was NOT going to pick him up. Then Rick tells me that as we were preparing for a Labor Day bocce party, he discovered THREE salamanders in the court. OK, I say YUCK! The thought of picking them up gives me the creeps.
So a shout out to the salamanders in the vicinity. I have no problem being neighbors as long as you keep a wide berth. Thank you for your attention to this matter.