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 Post subject: snake in compost
PostPosted: Tue Mar 09, 2004 9:41 am 
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Location: Burleson, Texas
The other day I was turning the compost and there was a snake about 12 inches long. He got away before getting a good look. The yesterday went to put in some stuff and there he was agian??? Still trying to get a good look at him

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PostPosted: Tue Mar 09, 2004 10:45 am 
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Location: Franklin,TEXAS
He's probably just enjoying the warmth. Last year I found snake eggs (already hatched) in my pile. Don't bother him and he won't bother you.


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PostPosted: Tue Mar 09, 2004 11:35 am 
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I've got at least a few earth snakes in my bins. Geckos and anoles also hang out nearby for the food and warmth as well.

Check out this web site for a few images that might help you identify your snake.

Texas Snakes

~Dave


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 10, 2004 11:59 am 
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Location: Burleson, Texas
Thanks Dave that is a great site. Now that I am over the shock and not in a hurry I hope to see him again and get a better look...

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PostPosted: Wed Mar 10, 2004 2:37 pm 
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Do you want to catch it? If so, the best material I've heard about is sticky bug strips nailed along a wall. When the snake hits the sticky stuff it cannot get off (unless you have something nearby that it can wrap itself around and pull).

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 Post subject: snake
PostPosted: Wed Mar 10, 2004 4:39 pm 
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Location: Ladonia
Why would you tell this person to catch it? The snake is very beneficial and the under belly is very sensitive. It would probably be killed. The snake is hurting noone. I thought this was an organic site and that snake is organic and beneficial. Does not sound like she was scared and probably just harmless. Let nature do its work. Less rodents. A mouse scares me more than a snake and I know the snake is not going to make me sick from its casting. Live and let live. Just carefully!


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PostPosted: Sat Mar 13, 2004 11:41 am 
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I did not tell her to catch the snake, I asked if she wanted to. Usually it is easier to identify the snake when it is holding still for you. The purpose of the original post is unclear so I was asking a question which might help and offering a relatively harmless solution to the puzzle.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Mar 14, 2004 6:36 pm 
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Location: Garland, Texas
Dchall_San_Antonio wrote:
...offering a relatively harmless solution to the puzzle.


:? Harmless to who?

Two thumbs down for this suggestion.

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PostPosted: Mon Mar 15, 2004 12:25 pm 
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Harmless to the snake. It will live through the experience (assuming you check it regularly and release it), but it may have a lifelong psychological fear of sticky substances.

Another reason to be concerned about a snake in compost is that it might be eating the worms, maggots, grubs, and other composting beasts in the pile. I'm not sure which would contribute more to the compost, the snake or the quantity of bugs it might eat.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Mar 15, 2004 4:50 pm 
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Dchall_San_Antonio wrote:
Harmless to the snake. It will live through the experience (assuming you check it regularly and release it), but it may have a lifelong psychological fear of sticky substances.


I disagree. If the substance is so sticky that the snake cannot free itself, then the removal of the "strips" would seem to prove harmful to the snake. Not to mention the rough handling required.

Dchall_San_Antonio wrote:
Another reason to be concerned about a snake in compost is that it might be eating the worms, maggots, grubs, and other composting beasts in the pile. I'm not sure which would contribute more to the compost, the snake or the quantity of bugs it might eat.


This statment just seems to go against the whole balance of nature, I can only assume, we all seek to achieve. Unless the snake is venomous and needs to be removed for the safety of the homeowner. Leave it alone. There is no reason to be concerned how many "bugs" the little snake might consume.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Mar 16, 2004 1:29 am 
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The snake can release itself if it has something to wrap its tail around. Drive a peg into the ground near enough and the snake will be gone without any handling.

The balance of nature is a tough one. With the possible exception of leaf cutting ants, compost piles do not occur in nature. The stuff that goes into compost piles are normally either eaten and dropped as manure or scattered to the four winds. Although in a way, each manure pile is a little compost pile all by itself. Anyway, many people have different reasons for the things they do. Some people cannot abide ants (roaches, flies, grubs, maggots, worms, pill bugs, etc.) in their compost piles. They will take "corrective measures," but I encourage them in my pile. Some people cannot stand birds in their yards. They will chase the birds out, but I encourage them in mine. Some people cannot stand wasps. I encourage them. Snakes are no different. Clearly some of you are friends of the snake and will not be following my suggestion. Others have had both the suggestion made clear and the pro and con discussed and can make their own decisions.

Y'all may have a last shot at me if you like.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Mar 16, 2004 6:21 pm 
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Dchall_San_Antonio wrote:
The snake can release itself if it has something to wrap its tail around. Drive a peg into the ground near enough and the snake will be gone without any handling.


Well, I just wonder the point in "catching" this snake if it can make a clean getaway otherwise unaided?

Dchall_San_Antonio wrote:
The balance of nature is a tough one.


It always is :)

Dchall_San_Antonio wrote:
Some people cannot abide ants (roaches, flies, grubs, maggots, worms, pill bugs, etc.) in their compost piles. They will take "corrective measures," but I encourage them in my pile.


I agree, with the exception of fire ants. I've been bit one too many times :lol:

Dchall_San_Antonio wrote:
Some people cannot stand birds in their yards. They will chase the birds out, but I encourage them in mine.


I would assume (that will always get me in trouble) that the members here would be bird friendly. Although I am in favor of chasing a Grackle from time to time.

Dchall_San_Antonio wrote:
Some people cannot stand wasps. I encourage them. Snakes are no different. Clearly some of you are friends of the snake and will not be following my suggestion.


Right on. 8) I reseve the right to dispatch appropriately the venomous variety, all the while recognizing their right to be here and their necessary role in nature.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Mar 17, 2004 12:46 am 
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Speaking of necessary role in nature (I can't shut up, someone please wrap my fingers in tape or something :lol: )...

We have folks down here talking about the necessary role of "weeds" in nature. Of course one person's weed is another persons feed, but the idea is that weeds fulfill a role in attracting beneficial insects and other creatures to the garden. Some extract nitrogen from the air and some bring up minerals from deep in the soil. Some manufacture sugars to aid in development of microbial 'medicines' and some cause other less beneficial plants to stay away.

Imagine someday sowing nutgrass seed with your tomatoes :shock:. Some valley farmers are already leaving the nutgrass to grow and cover the soil in their citrus groves.

Sorry - this has nothing to do with snakes other than the remote analogy. I hope it would be obvious to most reading this that snakes are necessary in the world and so too, the urban garden.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Mar 17, 2004 6:45 pm 
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Today I found out what has been filching kitchen scraps out of my pile for the past month or so. Wood rat(s). My dog, who absolutely loves accompanying me to the bin, caught one of them attempting to flee as we approached. Thought about burrying it in the pile to perhaps act as a deterrent for any others, but decided to toss it in the trash. :wink:

Need to start burrying stuff deeper in the pile now that it's cooking non-stop.

~Dave


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Mar 22, 2004 1:18 pm 
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Location: Franklin,TEXAS
That's sort of like the ranchers around here who shoot coyotes and then hang them on the fence as a "deterent" to other coyotes. Do they really think the coyotes notice old Wile E. hanging on the fence and think Well, I'd better stay out of that field!


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