Monday, August 31, 2009

The Feared Friend

Yesterday, I wanted to get some curry leaves for the curry I was making. I went to get some from the garden, when I saw this guy through the mesh door. I grabbed my camera and quietly opened the mesh door and took this shot. He was staring intently at something in my neighbour's garden and didn't hear me. But something made him sense my presence, because he immediately withdrew in a dignified manner and disappeared.
Although snakes are feared, most of them are non poisonous, like this Indian Rat Snake. They are friends of the garden because they keep the rats and bandicoots in check. The Indian Rat Snake,Ptyas mucosa is a tree climbing, non poisonous snake which hunts during the day. It eats rats, birds and other small animals, though frogs are its favourite.
A few days ago my neighbours saw two snakes dancing in the empty lot further down, both the snakes twining and leaping skywards. The dance went on for almost half an hour. The dance is not a mating dance as many suppose, but a dance for the control of territory between two males!
As for growing snake-repellant plants, our fellow was surrounded by the Snake plant Sanseveria which did nothing to repel him.


  1. Sansevieria is called the snake plant because of the shape and look of its leaves! No wonder, the rat snake visiting your garden felt he was amongst his own!

  2. Wow we only have a few grass snakes here on the island, even though some brilliant persons have released their pet boa constrictors into the wild. They have found one but it is rumored that there are three more at large. Sanseveria is known a mother in law's tongue here .......I wonder why? LOL

  3. People here think that Sanseveria looks dangerous like a snake so even snakes are afraid of it.