Strolling through the gardens can be an eye opening experience. Such was the case when I happened upon a garter snake near the house on the north side.
I was almost pretty much in shock because I rarely see snakes in the garden. When I do I always get very excited as snakes are good! Of course this garter snake will not bite me and inject poison into me so I consider this one to be good. I have occasionally seen copperheads in the garden, but they are rare and are usually tiny so I just move on. I would never ever intentionally kill a snake when given an alternative, because I consider all snakes beneficial in that they reduce the rodent population. Of course they might also reduce the frog population too; which is not so good but overall I tend to leave snakes be in the garden.
Many people have a fear of snakes. I will not say fearing snakes is irrational, because I cannot possibly know what a person feels who is afraid of snakes. I will say though, snakes can be fascinating given half a chance. At big amusement parks like Busch Gardens there are always snake shows, and I find it truly neat just how a snake feels up close and personal. They are not at all slimy and icky like slugs as some might think. They can be pretty cool in the garden too in that they help control pests and add a different element to the garden.
Now this fella is cool too. He helps with the rodent population but we are having difficulty with him and our resident orange tabby cat called Orkin. While Smokey boy has not attacked Orkin (he has no claws) he does tend to bother her to the point that she will simply stalk off or attack him. It is a frustrating time for us. Especially since Smokey is a stray and has no home and as you can see he is always hungry. We want them both to feel at home in our gardens and hope the situation works itself out to the good for both cats.
Another cat has also shown up in our gardens. We call him Cloud and he will be taking a visit to the veterinarian's clinic next week to be neutered and vaccinated. He is a good boy, but he is not as friendly as Smokey.
Please, if you have pets get them spayed or neutered to prevent all of these unwanted animals roaming around homeless. These two new cats would not be hanging out in my garden if they had a good home or even a home where they were fed and given basic necessities. It is not fair to let dogs and cats fend for themselves and is quite an issue here in my area of Tennessee. Thousands of animals are killed each year simply because they are homeless. If we reduce the population by spaying and neutering perhaps we can reduce the euthanasia rate as well.
I normally don't grow sunflowers since there is not an awful lot of sun here, but occasionally some will sprout from the bird feeders. Such was the case of this little sunflower. The amount of bugs buzzing around it was a nice treat. I snapped these few pictures in the same session. The bees just seemed to take turns on the sunflower which I thought was very cooperative of the bees.
Look at this big bee. It came in as soon as the little bee took off and they would rotate around on the head of this sunflower....
in the garden....
Don't forget about Skeeter's Giveaway post for a Troy-Bilt found here. Time is running out!
Words and Photos Property of In the Garden Blog Team, In the Garden