The Snakeskin

We don’t often see snakes in our yard. When we do see them, though, they’re usually on the south side of the house either sunning themselves near the hose or hanging out in the pachysandra. I’ve trained myself to look for them when I go to turn on the water – then I’m not so surprised when I see them – but they’re better concealed in the pachysandra. When I see them there, it’s usually just a glimpse of something reptilian darting swiftly and silently across my path. Very unnerving.

This very thing happened Sunday, just as I was about to step into the pachysandra to do some weeding. I caught sight of a snake shooting past one of the lilacs, and that was it. I realized the weeds weren’t as bad as I thought, and that I could easily forego tidying that spot for another – oh, say, summer.

Later, Pepper came and told us she had found a snakeskin. It was in the very spot I’d seen the snake earlier.


While I was content to admire the snakeskin from afar, CPT America wanted to examine it up close.



He gave that thing much more scrutiny than I would have. But, then, he’s CPT America.

“Come look at its face, girls,” he urged. (He was actually excited). “You can see its features really clearly!”


Yes, yes you could.

As sheds go, it was a very clean, neat one – all in one piece, head to tail. This, I suppose, attests to the overall good health of the snake.


And, if we are to have snakes around the yard (and CPT America assures me it is a good thing that we do) at least they’re happy, healthy ones.

But I’m still not going to weed that pachysandra bed anytime soon.

From the dining room table, with that darn snakeskin still sitting on the porch where it gives me a start every time I see it,

Mrs. Smythe

8 Comments on “The Snakeskin

  1. I concur on the healthy skin! Must be a very hydrated snake to come off so well in one piece. Was this a garter snake or another kind?

  2. We’ve seen many garden snakes in our yard this year. It is unnerving.

    • I didn’t realize you guys saw snakes in the garden too. You had mentioned the toads, but not the snakes.

  3. We have 3 garter snakes in our yard and have found
    very large shed skins. They love the cool area by
    our pond and have startled me several times when they
    dart away.

    • I can imagine they like your pond quite a bit. Neat that you know the exact number. I’m never sure if I’m seeing several snakes, or the same one over and over.

  4. We have had more snakes this year than ever before, mostly in the stone wall and the greenhouse. I normally hate snakes but I’m hoping they are eating the slugs.

    • I imagine the snakes like your stone wall quite a bit. Tasha Tudor used to call her stone wall a snake hotel. She probably didn’t mind the snakes as much as I do. I think she even kept one as a pet for a bit.