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Friday Favorite: Snakes

June 29th, 2018

I grew up in a snake loving family. We seemed to always have pet snakes, including a 12 foot boa constrictor. I’m always happy to see snakes in the garden, which happens quite frequently. I see lots of garden snakes, some ribbon snakes, and we have a fairly good sized milk snakes that I see occasionally in the garage.

Here in Maine, we have no venomous snakes. Where I grew up in Ohio we had copperheads, which we saw occasionally. In Colombia, where I spent most of my childhood, we had a fair number of venomous snakes, including one called the Quatro Narizes (Bothrops asper), which is a highly venomous pit viper. I remember seeing one when we were hiking once.

We have a good number of snakes here in the gardens, I see them daily. I’m always trying to keep the cats away from them as they like to catch the smaller ones. The chickens will also catch them and eat them if they see them.
There’s a three foot garden snake that lives under one of my raised beds in the back garden, I see it once a week or so. Snakes are so beneficial to our gardens, it’s too bad lots of people have aversions to them and kill them when they see them. Luckily, I think the wide knowledge of their beneficial nature of them is helping make those with fears leave them alone instead of killing them.

Do you have snakes in your garden? How often do you see them?

I’ve Been Waiting for This

June 28th, 2018

I’m always on the lookout for a few specific photos. Since my name is on various photo lists for various publications, I’m always on the lookout for things to photograph that I think I can end up selling. For quite a few years, I’ve been wanting to get a photo of a tick on a blade of grass. While walking up the driveway the other day, I spotted this guy in the tall grass on the edge of the driveway. Naturally, I had to grab my camera and get a few photos. After his photo shoot I squished him between two rocks so he didn’t end up on one of the cats or me. I have a running list of photos in my mind that I’m waiting to get and I’m always super excited when I finally get one of those checked off.

I grew up spending lots of time in the woods, so ticks don’t creep me out like they do some people. They can carry diseases, thorough tick checks are the best way to minimize the risk. During tick season, everyone in the family (including cats) gets a thorough tick check.

Are there any things you’ve been waiting to get photos of?

Sienna Peas

June 27th, 2018

I’ve always grown ‘Green Arrow’ or ‘Little Marvel’, this year I was low on seed and decided to try ‘Sienna’ from Johnny’s Seeds.

So far, I’m quite impressed. They vines are loaded with flowers and small peas. It looks like they will produce peas about 2 weeks ahead of the ‘Little Marvel’ I have planted in half the row. The proof, of course, will be in the flavor.  I’ll let you know when that time comes, which looks like possibly next week.

Do you grow English peas in the garden? What’s your favorite variety? 

Blooming Away

June 26th, 2018

The ‘New Dawn’ and ‘White Dawn’ roses I purchased earlier this spring are growing quickly and blooming like mad. I’m really interested to see how well these do in our cold winters. I’d love it if they would grow up and cover the living room wall.

I’m already impressed by their growth, they’ve doubled in size in a little over a month.

Do you have any roses in your garden? What’s your favorite color of rose?

The Not So Scary Scarecrow

June 21st, 2018

We’ve been wanting to put up a scarecrow in the main garden, but haven’t gotten around to it. Last fall, when we went through my mom’s clothes, I picked out a few things that she always wore to use for my garden scarecrow. I figured she’d LOVE being in my garden helping keep the waxwings out of the strawberries.

This was one of my mom’s favorite shirts, so it’s nice to see it in the garden. My dad and sister thought it was great as well when I sent them photos.

I just threw this one together last minute. There are grand plans forming in my mind of making one with old garden tools, a shovel for the head/face, trowels for the hands, etc.  But I need to find a few more old tools and then figure out how to put it all together.

 Do you have any great tips for keeping birds out of strawberries & raspberries? What fun things are gracing your garden?


This is a daily journal of my efforts to cultivate a more simple life, through local eating, gardening and so many other things. We used to live in a small suburban neighborhood Ohio but moved to 153 acres in Liberty, Maine in 2012.