https://i1.wp.com/ep.yimg.com/ay/yhst-36301388650840/melissa-doug-snake-jumbo-stuffed-animal-4.gifHow do you feel about snakes?
For me, it was just yesterday that when discovering 2 big fat snakes in my garden I had to face some facts. Upon the first meeting of these new inhabitants, deep inside me there definitely lived a strong but irrational fear of snakes.  Instinct of course took me directly to Google in an attempt to learn how to eliminate them.
 snake

 Unfortunately, most of the advice found online pertaining to the subject of “getting rid of” snakes was not helpful. Often mothballs were advised, but then actually found to be ineffective. Commercial snake “repellents” which can be purchased are usually made of the same chemical.

What’s a snake fearing girl to do?

It was suggested that mowing or cutting away all of the vegetation and brush in your yard would help, but this also removes the important habitat for birds, butterflies and other backyard wildlife. This certainly will not happen in my garden as the wildlife is what the garden it is all about.

What I gathered is that I must learn to enjoy and appreciate the snakes. My deep seated fear is just a psychological phobia that our culture helped instill in us. Oh joy!
And yet, as a group, snakes are some of the most harmless and important wildlife that we can attract to our gardens. In fact, the vast majority of snakes are 100% harmless to people. I am not alone though, as the most common reaction most people have when they see a snake is to want to kill or eliminate it.

What I also learned is that I am doing something right.

When snakes show up in your yard, it means the yard is a healthy ecosystem that is helping wildlife of all kinds to survive.

Shissy the Snake, shown above, might be a good way to desensitize kids a young age. She may be the only boa constrictor that likes to be hugged back! Professionals do recommend help in overcoming the fear of snakes, is exposure to an actual snakes. Starting out with Shissy could be the ticket before moving on to the real ones.

So today, on World Snake Day 2016 we will celebrate them.

Enjoy those snakes! Like all of the many mammals and birds that visit my garden, the new snakes will be given special names.

New mantra: snakes are beautiful and important wildlife.

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