Sunday, January 31, 2010

Counting Snakes

I know someone that swears that snakes can count and I have to agree with him. His house has one of those underground water meters out on his lawn. Somehow the meter reader didn’t fully close the lid after taking a reading. A momma garter snake moved in and gave birth to a dozen baby snakes. My friend was out on his lawn and saw the mama snake scurrying out of the semi closed lid. He opened the lid in her absence and found the dozen or so snakes.

Though this was the perfect place for snakes to live, he thought it would be better if he relocated them to a place that they would not be disturbed. He built a box similar in size and dug a hole in the ground to bury it. He placed some leaves and dirt in the box.

When the mother snake returned to feed her youngsters he gently removed all of them and relocated them to the new box. They seemed to settle in nicely, but after a short while the mother snake was out of the box making a bee line for the water meter which was now closed. She frantically slithered around and over the now closed lid. She was very upset, so my friend returned to the water meter and opened it back up and there inside he realized that he had missed one baby snake. He gently picked it up and took it to the new box along with its mother.

That mother snake knew exactly how many babies she had. This is how we know that snakes can count.


Blogger Donna said...

How does a mother garter snake feed her babies?

4:06 AM  
Blogger Beth said...

This would be a very touching story - if I liked snakes. A snake family makes its home by our dock. Drives the dogs nuts. I stay clear of the area.
(Yes, there are many creatures I'm not overly fond of.)

5:06 AM  
Blogger darev2005 said...

I surprised that someone would go to that much trouble to move a nest of snakes. Not that I have anything against snakes, mind you. Especially garter snakes. They are handy to have around and not dangerous. I'm just surprised that someone took the trouble. Sounds like something I would do.

veri word: unpenil- The condition your are left in after the viagra wears off.

7:35 AM  
Blogger Shelly Rayedeane said...

Ya learn something new every day. Who would have thought snakes can count?

I'm with Beth. There are many creatures I am not fond of.

I hate spiders too.

11:08 AM  
Blogger The Guy Who Writes This said...

Beth, they sometimes take a while before their instinct kicks in, but they like bugs, worms and tadpoles. It's their mother that guides them to places with a good food supply.

Beth, I think you are too far North to have poisonous snakes, true? I remember they were shocked to find diamond backs when they were blasting the Northway, Rt 87 through the foot hills of the Adirondacks.

Darev, they would have had no escape had the lid been closed, and they would have surprised the meter reader.

Shelly, though they aren't cute and cuddly, I'd rather handle a non-poisonous snake than a raccoon or a squirrel. I think the human fear of snakes comes more from religious significance than reality. The Pacific Northwest is the land of spiders and i haven't had any unpleasant experiences with them.

11:55 AM  
Blogger selkie said...

i like this story. it made me smile. thank you.

5:54 AM  
Blogger Irishdize said...

Someone told me that they went to Astoria on a trip and found a sign on the walk way that says 'watch out for Poisonous snakes' is this true?

what snakes are in Astoria?

7:04 AM  
Blogger The Guy Who Writes This said...

Only Garter snakes. No poisonous snakes here. It may have been a joke.

8:17 AM  

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