Seven compostable bags of leaves later, the gardens are cleared and new spring growth is revealed. My spring 'daily rounds' are now possible- preferably with a hot cup of tea- to check on which plants are coming up and which ones have decided to call it quits.
While Joe was out at the DIY store picking up more leaf bags I heard a rustling in the leaves behind the rhododendron. When I approached I saw some movement and discovered that we have a wonderful addition to the yard- a small garden snake! An auspicious sign, snakes are great in the garden for eating insects, as well as being a sign of a healthy eco-system. I couldn't be happier to see this little guy!
Getting a photo of him/her proved to be difficult, as snakes do tend to be fairly shy. Other years I've seen them from time to time, slithering into a crevice in the cement by the back basement door under the porch or sadly hanging from Charlotte's jaw. This one seemed to just want to bask in the early spring sunshine. He'd pick a nice spot, then as soon as I'd approach with the camera, he'd go behind a log or under the leaves. After a while if I kept very still he'd re-emerge and find another suitable spot.
My patience eventually paid off and I got a couple good pictures of him. I do hope to be seeing more of our visitor, even if it's just the end of his tail as he makes his way to a new hiding place. Now, what to name him?