Thursday, 4 July 2013

The slippery garden slope!

 Most days we set out to work with a rough idea of what the day has in store for us - but just sometimes – we are totally unprepared!

I thought I saw a snake at the castle two weeks ago whilst showing our NGS county organiser round the garden.  We were just rambling down some steps and into a shaded area when movement on the ground caught my eye – I was so shocked I jumped out of my skin so unfortunately didn’t take a very good picture (I though it might be an adder!).  you can just see it under the Alchemilla leaf.

 Today we were pruning roses back from a small cottage situated at the end of a long track next to a lake, so, right off the beaten track.  We had been told there were snakes in the area but didn’t take much notice as the cottage was under restoration and full of noisy workman.

After finishing our task we walked along the side of the lake, I went down the bank to study an unusual flower on the waterline and found more than I bargained for!  Sunbathing on top of a stump was a lovely dark coloured snake.  Martin kept watch while I ran to the car for the good camera and bingo – not a bad shot ..

Martin had been spraying some nettles off earlier in the week and thought he had spotted one at the other end of the lake – so off we went.  We found two more coiled up next to each other –  very carefully I crept up on them to get the perfect shot and promptly trod on another one!  I was guilty of letting out a very girly squeal!  I always thought our English snakes were rather small and insignificant – not any more. 

We must have seen more than 15 snakes all sunbathing on the side of a bank.  The young are no bigger than a pencil, the older ones have a girth the size of a 10p piece!

How fantastic is that!

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