With spring in full bloom, folks in our neck of the woods are hitting the gardens and flower beds pretty hard. And quite often, where rake meets the last leaf of November, and trowel meets last spring's mulch, human meets snake.
In this instance, human was a kind-hearted friend of Brother Henry's, and snake was a very young and beautiful mole king snake.
Curious about the camera, and not at all intimidated by the very large creature behind the lens, this bold young reptile probably hatched late last fall and may have made winter shelter in the very mulch and leaves where its mother laid her eggs last summer.
The mole king snake is quite secretive and rarely seen abroad, so we consider ourselves lucky that the industrious gardener brought this one to light with her rake.
The snake received a minor wound from the tines of the rake, but appears relatively unfazed by the trauma, and after being relocated to a nearby wooded lot, should live to hunt another day.
We're mighty glad to document another happy ending to an encounter with one of these benign and beneficial creatures;
glad in the knowledge not only that this remarkable snake is alive and well,
but that its parents are probably still about and healthy enough to give life to the next generation.
Perhaps we'll be lucky enough to run into them as well.