I was happily weeding and deadheading the lower reaches of the butterfly garden earlier today, when I heard my partner calling to come quickly.
I heard that edge in his voice which demanded immediate attention.
So I dropped everything and climbed the hill towards where he stood.
Silently, he pointed to a Rose of Sharon shrub a few feet away.
A beautifully sinuous green snake balanced in the upper branches, staring back at us.
My partner had come outside to check on me, and as he started down the hill, he saw the snake drop through the air from higher up in the garden’s canopy, landing in the shrub.
He always warns me to keep an eye out to what is lurking up in the trees, and always insists I wear a hat out into the garden.
And today, this beautiful green snake dropping down into the shrubs, near where I had just been working, made his point for him!
We estimate the Green Snake to be close to two feet long, though it is very slender. Its head isn’t much larger than that of our lizards.
We’ve never seen this snake in our garden before today.
Known as the “Rough Green Snake,” Opheodrys aestivus, these snakes are known to live near permanent water supplies, in wooded areas, where there are abundant insects to eat.
Native all along the East Coast of North America from New Jersey to Florida, Green Snakes prefer the coastal plain to the mountains.
He was extremely peaceful today, visiting with us for as long as we wished. He allowed me to take photos and approach him without so much as opening his mouth.
He moved a bit along the branches of the shrub, but stayed where he was until I returned to my weeding, and my partner went back indoors.
Non-poisonous, this little guy is a welcome visitor in the garden.
We hope we see him again…. from a distance.
Photos by Woodland Gnome 2014