Wildlife Spotlight: Texas Blind Snake
Being able to tell the difference between good and bad bugs and critters is an important skill for every gardener. There are many friends and foes out there, and it’s important to keep those squishing hands behind your back until you’ve decided if ‘certain death’ is the fate the little critter deserves. Sometimes the most fascinating wildlife is found INside your house! I was making dinner last night and heard the husband call out from the bathroom:
“What is that!? Is that an earthworm? A millipede?”
Um, i don’t know about you, but the subject of ‘worms’ being found in bathrooms kind of gives me the willies. Sorry. But, i ran in to see and we were both suddenly aghast: “It’s a snake!” Very tiny, ever so worm-like, but definitely squiggly in action like a snake. Check it out:
Sadly, my macro setting had a hard time focusing on this itty bitty guy – plus i was on the shade side of him. But still, you can totally see its scales, its tiny practically nonexistent eyes. So awesome. Andy caught the little fella and put it into my raised bed, whereupon it squiggled its little newly born self into the soil. But one has to wonder: if this (according to the Audobon book we researched the blind snake in) is in fact a newly hatched snake: are there more eggs hiding in the bathroom? And how the heck did it get there? Did the mama snake come inside and lay eggs? Was this little hatchling so blind and confused it thought to make some long travel into a house from outside? Was he stuck to my foot? The questions are endless. (This post was written a year or so ago, and since then every year at the same time: mid April, we find baby blind snakes in our bathroom and surrounding rooms. Fascinating.)
I love that i’ve turned my suburban yard into a National Wildlife Foundation’s Certified Wildlife Habitat and can enjoy the pleasures of crickets wandering inside to be fed to my turtle and tiny alien-like snakes saying hello in the bathroom. Once released back outside, this snake will grow to be a beneficial part of my garden’s ecosystem: tilling the soil and eating up nasty bugs.
What is the strangest or most interesting critter that has wandered into your house?
When not writing or gardening for Yard Farm, Miranda and her alien-snakes can be found at An Austin Homestead.