When Company “Drops In”: Green Snake

Opheodrys aestivus,, Rough Green Snake, native along the Eastern Coast of North America.

Opheodrys aestivus,, Rough Green Snake, native along the Eastern Coast of North America.

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.

July 22, 2014 vine snake 003

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!

July 22, 2014 vine snake 009

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.

July 22, 2014 vine snake 010

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.

July 22, 2014 vine snake 012

Photos by Woodland Gnome 2014

About woodlandgnome

Lifelong teacher and gardener.

15 responses to “When Company “Drops In”: Green Snake

  1. Pingback: Blog Tour | Eliza Waters

  2. oh great pictures of the green snake, I love seeing them around! 🙂

  3. Wow! It’s a very beautiful snake, and you got some great photos of it. I’ve often wondered if there are green snakes hiding in our trees. I haven’t seen one yet, but I bet they are out there.

    • Same here- we sense them but rarely see them. Near water, they are pretty much a given in summer. We’re just glad it is a harmless little green snake, and not something more. He is a beauty! Best wishes, WG

  4. WG, I sent you an email via gmail the other day. Don’t know if you got it.

  5. GREAT post! You are very brave 😉 When I saw your first shot, I thought, ‘This would make me scream!” I would not want any snake “dropping” down on me! I love the idea of a benevolent snake doing pest control, like our garter snakes here, but I think I have a genetic reaction to them, they always startle me and I scream! There you have it, true confession from a seasoned naturalist! 😉

    • True confession is good for the soul… Had I been out there alone when the snake dropped, I might have yelped a little, too 😉 Since my husband spotted it first, and called me over, I was just intrigued with such a beautiful and gentle creature. He looks so much like our little lizards- just a lovely presence and not at all threatening. Thank you for the kind words 😉 Best wishes, WG

  6. Oh, WG, I am so glad you didn’t kill him! I’m finding more and more of my gardening friends are willing to live peacefully with their serpentine visitors and I am too! Unless, of course, it’s a copperhead. Lovely pictures of a really sort of gentle looking snake.

    • Hurting him never crossed our minds- He is a wonderful helper in controlling the insect population. Since we’ve had a bag worm problem around here this summer, he is welcome to the feast he finds in the garden. So glad to know, Barbara, that you welcome the slitheries to your garden, too. They all have their place and their tasks… Hope you’re well, WG

  7. “Lead us knot into temptation,” we say. “Little good it does,” says snake eyes.
    If he actually spoke aloud, wood knot you flip your lid? I forgive Eve for that. 😉

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