Monday, July 31, 2006

We saw a snake

Once upon a time, when I was fresh off the boat, I went walking with the Vol-in-Law through a field of waist high grass near his boyhood home outside Belfast. It was damp and dewy. And I was feeling distinctly nervous.

I said: "I don't like this. This seems really snake-y."

He looked at me incredulously. "Uh...St Patrick? There are no snakes in Ireland."

"Oh, yeah," said I.


There aren't many snakes in England. I can't remember ever seeing one. But yesterday we saw one on our way out of Richmond Deer Park, slithering across the shaded sidewalk. The Vol-in-Law said it was a huge snake, that covered the road with its rising coils. I'm not so sure. I tried to get its picture, but it didn't like flash. It slithered under a fence and into someone's garden where no doubt it's eating pests and vermin.



Sam said...

Any idea what kind? It has a most disturbingly viperish head, but surely not!

Vol Abroad said...

I looked it up later. It's a relatively harmless grass snake. I presume they will bite, but they're not venomous.

We didn't know what it was at the time.

There is a poisonous snake in Britain, the adder, but I think they're pretty rare. I don't know what they look like, though. I guess I should look it up.

Anonymous said...

This snake was definitely a grass snake and completely harmless, though some can grow quite large and appear scary to some. They rarely bite when caught, I caught 3 today with no problems. They do tend to spray you with a smelly fluid. You were so lucky to see a snake so close to Central London.