Thursday, May 23, 2013

I Think She Might Be Like Me!

Sweet Baby Girl
I haven't been able to post for a while but that is a good thing. I was fortunate in that I was able to take care of my granddaughter for 4 days. I try to keep my grands busy with new experiences and 'projects' so they can learn and, of course, it has to be nature oriented. To my horror, the Goober will have nothing to do with bugs, butterflies and bees. Maybe it is because he was stung by a bee once. But, Sweet Baby Girl, I think, will have an affinity for nature.

One of the projects we always do first thing in the morning is feed the birds. As Sweet Baby Girl and I were walking down the path on Sunday, I noticed something hiding among the Salvia Greggii.

A Speckled King Snake (Lampropeltis getula)! Woo, hoo! I gently grasped the little guy behind his head so Sweet Baby Girl could have an up-close and personal encounter with her first snake. Of course, Harriet Beecher, my Catahoula Leopard dog, had to be in the photo too.

The Speckled King Snake is one of my favorite snakes because: 1) it is non-venomous (that is a good thing) and, 2) their diet includes other snakes and rodents (another good thing). This snake's name is derived from its black background with small yellow or white specks on every scale.

The Speckled is generally found in central and southern parts of the United States. This creature can grow to over 48 inches long and (oh, here is the fun part) when threatened the snake will shake its tail much like a rattlesnake to deter its predators. They kill their prey by constriction and will musk, defecate or bite when threatened. If you are wondering, yes, I had to wash my skirt after handling this fun little creature. The speckled can be docile and is frequently kept as a pet. But, as I ask my grands, "Do wild creatures make good pets?" Nooooooooo!

Having a cottage garden packed with herbs and Texas native wildflower, I like any creature that will subsist on other venomous snakes and rodents, I feel safe working in my garden just knowing this snake makes his home there.

Now, Sweet Baby Girl - how do you feel about bugs?


  1. Neato that you are teaching her to NOT be afraid, but appreciate the things of nature.

  2. So glad you are teaching her so much and to not fear snakes and insects that are good for the environment. So many just kill them and don't realize the benefits. She is a doll!

  3. I am so impressed that you would reach down and get that snake! I am afraid of any snake, even though this one seems to be a good guy. I bet Sweet Baby Girl will end up being a gardener, and I think you should keep working on the Goober (cute names!), perhaps he will eventually forget about that bee sting.

  4. Sweet Baby Girl is your mini me! What great memories you are making! Eva

  5. I love your garden helper..Harriet is beautiful. What a gorgeous picture of her in the flowers. Lucy said hello and thanks for coming by and playing today.