"Self-sufficiency does not mean 'going back' to the acceptance of a lower standard of living. On the contrary, it is the striving for a higher standard of living, for food that is organically grown and good, for the good life in pleasant surroundings... and for the satisfaction that comes from doing difficult and intricate jobs well and successfully." John Seymour ~ Self Sufficiency 2003

Thursday, 1 September 2011

Garden visitor

Man, oh man, the roots from our neighbours trees were encroaching into the one side of the shade cloth tunnel, and I sorely needed RMan to help me pull them out.  Then he helped me mix some compost into the beds - in preparation for when my seedlings are big enough to transplant.


As we were getting on with our various tasks we heard Scampi growling and noticed that he was backing off s-l-o-w-l-y.  Scampi had been lying just outside the veggie patch, in a small patch of sun and we knew there was nothing that he should be growling at, unless...
Sure enough, Scampi had, for once, been useful LOL  Using the garden fork RMAn managed to catch a small mole* snake and place it in the bucket.
It looks like a brown mole* snake - harmless to us humans... but apparently not to the snail that it happened to slither past.  The snake proceeded to shove it's head inside the shell - obviously to eat it from the inside out...
Brave Scampi with RMan - looking at the enemy and it's prey.  Guess bravado is in order when you know you're not the intended target - this time...  Or is it RMan's protective arm around Scampi which is giving him courage?
The snail was so determined to get away it started climbing up the inside wall of the bucket - dragging the snake with it...
Reckon the snake munched too much of the snail - from inside the shell.  It couldn't get away...
When we came back the snake had gone, and the snail was history.


Now, that has got to be written up an another eco-friendly way of getting rid of snails...  Looks like perhaps Mother Nature will be on my side this season...?


Update:  Thanks to Diana of Elephant's Eye, I now know that the snake is not a brown mole snake, but in fact is a harmless (to humans) tabakrolletjie (tobacco roll) - whose sole purpose in life appears to be the consumption of slugs and snails!  It produces 6 - 22 young in late summer - hopefully they all stay in my garden :)

17 comments:

  1. One of the blessings of living on our little island: no snakes!

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  2. Wish I could attract a few to my garden - the snails are running riot after the recent rain.

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  3. Gruesome, but very very helpful! You need a couple more of those around and your troubles are over!

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  4. Tanya - LOL - and a very beautiful island you live on too.

    tffn - Me too!

    Garden Girl - Snails - plenty. And we got moles too.

    Jane - Yup :-)

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  5. I think the snake is a good garden 'tool' Do you have many types of snakes on your property?

    I saw my first 'Idaho' snake a few days ago. A very skinny .. probably garter snake. I hope it got its fill of slugs from the garden.

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  6. Wow - interesting how it eats the snail. Our snakes are due to start moving around a lot more now too - I wonder what we will encounter this summer.
    PS: I think I have the same bucket :)

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  7. eating snails? That's a tabakrolletjie. If you mulch well, you will often find them, peacefully fulfilling their role in the garden. Well peaceful if you are not a snail .

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  8. I hate snails in the garden...maybe I could borrow a few of those snakes, but then again..we have plenty of snakes here in Australia.

    On my mind....Community Gardens & Freecycle.

    http://justlikemynanmade.blogspot.com/2011/09/on-my-mindcommunity-gardens-and.html

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  9. Mrs Mac - As long as they are "friendly" garden tools LOL Nope - only ever seen the mole snake, but I know that there are cobra's in the area...

    Slowvelder - I thought it was a tad cool for snakes already - obviously I was wrong. Yup - the "floor" bucket!

    Diana - Cool - thanks for the info on the tabakrolletjie. LOL - don't want to be snail - getting squashed / drowned / eaten - but there again I'd hate to be a snake also...

    Nellymary - Snails are one of the worst pests I reckon - glad to have some help with them from the tabakrolletjie :)

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  10. Good dog Scampi! Snakes, I'm ambivalent about. I like the helpful ones, but obviously not the poisonous ones. We have large "rat" snakes here that help with the mouse population, which is good. They will also eat eggs and chicks, which is not good. The best way to keep them away is to keep cats so there are no mice for the snakes to hunt! A small garden snake like your tabakrolletjie would be nice though. We have garter snakes in the US; I wonder if they do the same.

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  11. Can never have to many of those snakes where we live..so many snails.
    ps: I think we also have the same bucket.lol

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  12. Leigh - Hmmm - Cape Cobra and Puff Adder - they frighten me.

    Rat snakes and rats - keep them away from me LOL I'm a "climb on the chair" and squeal person when it comes to rats and mice...

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  13. African Bliss - My only problem is on the farm how will I know if it's a tabakrolletjie or a baby venomous snake...?

    Good ol' Floor Wiz buckets - they're everywhere LOL Shows how well advertising works!

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  14. What a sight!A very interesting sight! I am glad you know what kind of snake it is now. That is neat! I prefer my lizards and geckos, toads and soon to be frogs. I see a snake occasionally and I know they are here and doing good work. Hopefully they will leave my geckos, toads and frogs alone. Emily

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  15. Emily - Frogs we have too - both in town and on the farm :)

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  16. Don't worry Dani, even a tiny puffie will vociferously let you know it's not a "twakkie". We found a 20cm puffie in our workshop and it hissed the loudest of all the ones we have found so far- even fattie 1m long was not so vocal and aggresive. Those twakkies breed so well in warm places. I put cardboard down on all my paths and when I had to move some, I found about 6 in a very small area. A blessing in summer. We are protecting some over winter from trh hens in a grass house!

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