The S**** Word

Discussion in 'Off-Topic Chat' started by (re)tired tenor, Jun 28, 2006.

  1. I love my garden. I love looking at it, I love working in it, I love relaxing in it, I love entertaining in it. But....

    last week I came home at lunchtime, it was hot & sunny and I thought it would be nice to just relax on the patio for half an hour. Something suddenly caught my eye between the 2 apple trees - there was a 4 ft long snake! (It might only have been 3ft but who's counting?!)

    Now, I am one of those people who totally freak out when they see a snake (urgh, even typing the word makes me feel sick) on TV... but IN MY GARDEN?!

    My neighbour has since told me she has had 2 in her garden pond this week, 2 work colleagues have said they have had one in their gardens. My husband suggested it had only come into the garden to lay it's eggs - does that mean that one day I will look out & see the garden full of snakes? Is this all part of global warming? If so does anyone know a brass band in Iceland I can join?!

    Suggestions as to how to DETER snakes in the garden would be gratefully received - I really don't care whether they are poisonous or not, it's just the way they move that spooks me.
  2. DaveR

    DaveR Active Member

    Eurgh!!! I'm with you on this one - snakes are horrid, nasty hideous creatures.
  3. TheMusicMan

    TheMusicMan tMP Founder Staff Member

    There's only a few species here in the UK, and the only poisonous one is the Adder.
  4. Rach_Horn

    Rach_Horn Member

  5. stevetrom

    stevetrom Well-Known Member

    A couple of years ago I was called to my neighbors house because the header tank was overflowing, when I took a look in the loft I found the cause - a 12 foot long boa constrictor was in the tank !

    This was in deepest darkest oxfordshire !

    Needless to say I did the manly thing and round out of the house screaming.
  6. DaveR

    DaveR Active Member

    That's a few too many!! I was walking round Loe Pool in Cornwall a couple of years ago and was really enjoying myself until the thought suddenly struck me that Loe Pool was probably ideal adder country :eek:

    I stopped enjoying the walk after that - but I was keeping a very close eye on where I was going!!! Wouldn't want to step on one by mistake!!

    And to post a pic of snakes on here is just sadistic, mrMusicMan!!
  7. PeterBale

    PeterBale Moderator Staff Member

    We have adders in the country park at Hadleigh, and when we lived in Hadleigh itself we had one in the garden. Even though they are poisonous you should remember they are also a protected species, and should not be harmed.
  8. Dave 2nd2nd Cornet

    Dave 2nd2nd Cornet Active Member

    Sorry - if it was me or the snake - the snake would definitely lose out, protected species or not.;)
  9. Di

    Di Active Member

    Eek! Thats just going to set off that horrible dream I have now of either looking in our pond in the garden and finding snakes, or finding snakes in the fish tank!:eek:
  10. Pythagoras

    Pythagoras Active Member

    An adder isn't going to deliberately bite a human. It's much too small to eat us. It would only bite a human if it was threatened. There far more likely to flee the first moment they see you.
  11. 2nd man down

    2nd man down Moderator Staff Member

    So what happened to the snake that started this thread? Did you report it? Is it possible it could be one that somebody has released because they couldn't look after it and assumed it would just perish in the wild rather than becoming a problem to anyone?
    You hear about people doing that sort of thing with exotic species all the time because they haven't realised just how high maintenance animals like that are, hence the "crocodile in the sewer" stories.
  12. Hornblower RN

    Hornblower RN Member

    Perhaps you should consider getting yourself a mongoose lol ....when I was based at Kranji Wireless station in Singapore back in the late 50s we had many cobras "floating" around....I often remember climbing some flights of steps on my way to breakfast one Sunday morning after a boozy session the night before...I happened to look up and there on the last flight of steps with hood flared was a cobra.....that's about the only thing I have run from in my life.....still get goose bumps thinking about it!!
  13. TheMusicMan

    TheMusicMan tMP Founder Staff Member

    Although poisonous, the Adder is a shy snake and will not be aggressive. If you were to see one and approach it, it would more than likely slide off into the heather.

    Incidentally - does anyone on here have any cracking wildlife photos they wish to share, snakes perhaps...???

    For info though...

    "The adder is Britain’s only venomous snake and is, as a result, a much-maligned species with a wealth of folklore surrounding it. Despite the public perception of this snake, however, it is a shy, timid and non-aggressive species. This stocky snake is easily identified by the dark zigzag line passing along the back bordered by rows of spots. A dark mark which takes the form of an ‘X’, ‘V’ or ‘H’ is located on the rear of the angular head and the pupil is vertical. Males are greyish, whitish, pale yellow or cream in colour with very dark contrasting markings, whereas females are typically a brownish or reddish colour with brown markings. Females also tend to be longer and wider than males, and have shorter tails. Male and female juveniles are reddish in colour. In all cases, the belly is grey, greyish-brown or bluish, and the throat is dirty yellow or white. Completely black (melanistic) adders arise quite frequently."
  14. ronnie_the_lizard

    ronnie_the_lizard Active Member

    I get 'phone calls about snakes all the time, and 99.9% of the time any snake you find in your garden will be a grass snake - these vary from a beige to a deep green colour and have an obvious yellow or white collar around their neck. They can reack 6 foot (an inch or so across) but most are much smaller. They are harmless.

    Very rarely escaped 'exotic' species might be found, and again these will be harmless - usually corn (yellow to orange), rat (brownish) or king (red / black / white stripes) snakes as these are the ones that can survive outdoors in our summer temperatures.

    Adders are far more secretive and usually found in areas with dense undergrowth / bracken cover. The way to avoid adder bites when out walking is to make plenty of noise - the vast majority of bites occur either because someone has inadvertently stepped on one or someone (or their dog) has been taunting one [e.g. if some idiot has decided that "It's me or the snake"]. Even if you are bitten, in most cases you only get the same reaction as you would from a bad wasp sting - a few days swelling but nothing more unless you are allergic to the venom.

    Grass snakes live on anything from slugs through frogs and small rodents to rabbits, and particularly like living near water. They will search out an area of rotting vegetation in which to lay their eggs. The only way to deter them from your garden is to get rid of any garden ponds or compost heaps you have, but it really isn't necessary, and from a gardening point of view the damage they do to the slug population is a great benefit !
  15. TheMusicMan

    TheMusicMan tMP Founder Staff Member

    Ron - how come you get phone calls about snakes...? Do you work with them?
  16. ronnie_the_lizard

    ronnie_the_lizard Active Member

    Check my profile !!
  17. TheMusicMan

    TheMusicMan tMP Founder Staff Member

    Thanks. WOW - I bet that is wonderful - being able to get so close to such animals and will have given you years of satisfaction.

    Any advice for the owner of a diabetic dog...? She's still OK, but seems now to be losing a lot of weight despite being 'insulin stable' for several months. is this normal?
  18. dyl

    dyl Active Member

    That's not very nice Crawford - do you know (re)tired tenor well enough to form this opinion?

  19. 2nd man down

    2nd man down Moderator Staff Member

    :eek: Eek!! That's not what I meant you stirrer!! :mad: ;)
  20. Chunky

    Chunky Active Member

    When I was working at Norwich Airport we had a snake crawl across the apron and climb inside a wheel casing of an aircraft.

    The pilot was not allowed to move the aircraft as it would no doubt kill the snake (and the problem there is..?).

    The RSPCA were called and the pilot was advised if he moved the aircraft with snake knowingly still in wheel case he would be prosecuted for animal crulety.

    So the aircraft was delayed for 2 hours till hissing Sid decided he would slither back into the grass by the apron.

    Where I work now we have a lot of lakes and snakes are a commom sighting some have even been seen just outside the office.

    I hate the things cannot even look at them on TV.

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