Monday, August 15, 2011

Snakes and hummingbirds

With the exception of having to go get a poison ivy shot first thing this morning, today was a lovely day. At 3pm today, the temperature was 81! That is not a typo - 81 in August. Heaven!

I didn't want to do anything strenuous and get sweaty since it interferes with the poison ivy so I put the hedge trimming on the back burner and just enjoyed the day at a leisurely pace, watering and fertilizing, mowing and some light pruning here and there.

I am not a snake lover so I got quite a jolt when I walked up the side gate to water the portulaca and saw this -




This green snake is quite harmless and it eats insects in the garden. I know that now so when I come across one, I don't panic. I watched this guy for about 30 minutes. He stayed in this position for quite a while slowly making his way down the opposite side. 








He actually looks like he is smiling, doesn't he? He lingered here before turning back up and heading toward the pots of portulaca. He crawled halfway in them and lingered -



He then left the pot and started crawling up the archway over the gate -





And across the top -




In the meantime, I think the hummingbirds were miffed that I was invading their territory. One finally showed up -



After photographing the hummingbirds, I started looking for the snake again and couldn't find him. If he was in the roses and vines on the archway, his camouflage was excellent. Or he may have got in a hurry and crawled down really fast.



Text and photos by Phillip Oliver, Dirt Therapy

22 comments:

  1. Such cool photos! And I hope your poison ivy rash goes away quickly.

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  2. LOve the pictures, the snake look slike a pretty green ribbon!

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  3. What handsome visitors to your garden. The snake did look like it was enjoying itself. Hummers are so amusing. I hope your poison ivy shots help.

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  4. That snake stayed around for awhile! Usually, they slither off when I see them in the garden.

    Today's weather was fabulous! We got rain again last night and the humidity was low! It was 60 degrees on the front porch this morning. Gardening was actually pleasant.

    Hope your poison ivy problem is resolved quickly. I've never had a reaction, but I've been in it. My son doesn't get the reaction either.

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  5. Great photos! I don't like snakes...I couldn't have gotten that close.

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  6. Your slithery friend was quite cooperative and photogenic, but you shouldn't have showed him climbing overhead. I'll be paranoid now in the garden. Loved the hummingbird.

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  7. Great photos, but I am sorry the only good snake is a dead snake. I hate snakes! We had a nice little break in heat over here too, but it was low 90's with low humidity.

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  8. Thanks for all the well wishes. The shot has done wonders. This is a yearly thing for me. If I go one year without getting into the stuff, I wouldn't know how to act.

    Bo, I was about 6 ft. away - the telephoto lens helped! :)

    Sherry, I will be too!

    Kris, that is exactly what Michael says!

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  9. You are so brave! I would have died! (Run & scream more likely) The only time I like snake is on a handbag, shoes or belt!

    Hope you feel better.

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  10. Now those are two fabulous critters~Great photos, too. gail

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  11. What a cool garter snake! He does look like he's smiling. If he was out and about for 30 minutes, I bet he's desperate for food and water. Can you believe I've never had poison ivy? I must be immune. Glad the shot is working!

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  12. Sorry to hear about the poison ivy. I have had a lifetime of oozing. I feel for you!

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  13. Hi. The snake is wonderful but brrr.... I've never seen a hummingbird - in Poland there are none.

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  14. Ugh, sorry to hear about the poison ivy. The snake is beautiful. They camoflauge so well that they've startled me more than once. lol

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  15. What great photos of both the snake and hummingbird. So sorry about the poison ivy:( I had terrible cases of it as a child and have had a few as an adult - pretty miserable stuff. We've been enjoying the change in weather here as well.

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  16. Amazing that they can climb like that.

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  17. I think that is one of our most beautiful native snakes. For someone who was supposed to take it easy, you managed to get a lot done.

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  18. Phillip I'll come & get the snake if you don't want it. I have one under my house named Fred that takes care of the field mice. I got into some poison ivy in the flower bed along the driveway. Birds must have dropped the seeds. Hope yours is better. Try out the ant gourd yet? Mary

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  19. Ack! You know, I can't remember ever seeing a snake the whole time I've lived in Portland...so odd!

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  20. Your green snake is really pretty. Bit of a climber, isn't he? You'll be looking up next time you go out.

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  21. If you can stay calm about having to get a poison ivy shot every year, one little green snake shouldn't shatter your cool, Phillip! Great photos.

    Isn't it odd how creepy things become fascinating subjects when we look at them through camera lenses?

    Annie at the Transplantable Rose

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