Friday, May 10, 2013
Second Snake of the Season
It is common here for the first snake sighting of the season to be announced with a piercing scream when Becky nearly steps on a wild wiggler. That was not the case today. An Eastern Milksnake was soaking up some warmth from the sun while stretched out across the driveway. One of their defensive moves is to remain motionless but that is not effective when exposed. After a good long look, I backed the tractor away so that I could drive around the snake. When I returned with the camera the snake was long gone.
Another favorite place to gain some heat from the sun is under my wheelbarrows. Sure enough when the wheelbarrow was raised a snake was exposed. The bale of old hay under the stored wheelbarrow is there for the snakes. Mice and voles are high on the list of food for these snakes so we encourage their presence. Later in the day I needed my wheelbarrow and found two milksnakes under it. This time one showed me its vibrating tail. Impressive but not scary, I found the display some what comical since these snakes pose no threat to people.
Trout lily, Erthronium americanum, commonly occurs here as single leafed nonflowering plants. This double leafed plant flowered but no flower or seed capsule is present. I have always suspected that the wild turkeys were eating the flowers. The flower that opened here was clearly eaten.
When I dug this pinxter azalea, Rhododendron nudiflorum, from the wild, it was replanted in the woods rather than at the edge of the woods. Located with insufficient light it never flowered. It would have been easier on the plant if I had relocated it before leaf out but I always seem to be a little late. The tool of choice for tasks like this is a five foot steel pry bar. If the plant is levered out with a sizable dirt ball, the move will likely be successful.
A good sized clump of forest soil is coming with the plant. A pail of forest soil was also taken to line the planting hole. Overnight rain added to what we hope will be a successful move.