Wordless Wednesday

Last weekend while moving some trays of pots I found this:

Asp viper, Vipera aspis

Asp viper, Vipera aspis

Asp viper, Vipera aspis

Asp viper, Vipera aspis

Does that slight bulge you can see above mean it was digesting something?

Asp viper, Vipera aspis

Asp viper, Vipera aspis

From its markings and its size (small) we identified it as Asp viper, Vipera aspis – yes, that’s the one the Cleopatra supposedly used to commit suicide.  I think it is probably what bit me a couple of years ago but that time I didn’t even see it.

It will teach me to wear gloves and socks and shoes rather than sandals!


41 thoughts on “Wordless Wednesday

  1. Eeeek! We only have have harmless grass snakes here. Thank goodness. I was showing a friend around the garden and we came across one in the woodland. I carried on chatting and turned round to see her literally fleeing for her life. She’d lifted up her skirt and run. By the time I’d got back to the house, she was a shivering wreck. I always warn people now, just in case we come across one in the path.

  2. Christina unfortunately also have snakes in the garden. One day I came across a by lifting a stone. And here they are very poisonous. My dog was about to die from a sting: veterinary care was more than one and less bad he recovered. Other dogs have not run so lucky and died. Even a small child died. Be careful and wear sturdy shoes and gloves always. And when you lift something I do very carefully. Forgive me these tips you already know, but they are dangerous. I too like. Greetings from Margarita.

  3. Wow! Well that is exciting–and cause for concern, but you’re right that a little caution (and gloves) is probably a good thing while working in the garden. Great shots!

    • Usually any snakes are much more frightened of us than we are of them and they move quickly away; this Asp was possibly trapped in the tray or it was sleepy because it had just fed or it was cold; I’m not as ‘cool’ as it may have sounded!

  4. I suppose under your pots is very much like being under a stone for the snake. It will certainly mean you will be much more careful now when you move things in the garden. Best not to upset a snake like that 🙂 You kept your cool to get a picture for us though! Amelia

  5. An Asp viper, I haven’t seen one of those, but wouldn’t want to come across one in the garden. We have so much bushland here in Canberra, that snakes are often about in spring, but usually move away quickly. Good luck with the gardening and keep your gloves on!

    • I didn’t know either! I thought there were only Adders but I’ve now found out there are three poisonous snakes in Italy so I will definitely try to wear gloves more of the time!!!!

  6. That’s a scary surprise. I am impressed that you took such good pictures of it. Mine would have be distant and blurry no doubt. It must be hard to be cautious all of the time. We have grass snakes here and in fact I saw some sunbathing in the compost a couple of weeks ago, but they slithered away before I could even think of a camera.

    • This Asp seemed very slow, which makes me think that maybe it was digesting a meal. I hadn’t noticed that until I saw the photographs. Either that or it was cold which I’m told is when they can be dangerous because otherwise like your grass snake it would just have slithered away very quickly.

  7. Gloves and socks at all times is not an enticing thought for a hands-on gardener though. And although it is good to know one’s garden is a natural habitat for wildlife, for most of us in the UK it will not be anything that we are likely to be at risk from

    • They are shy here too. Actually I haven’t seen a poisonous snake before, because I didn’t see the one that did bite me a couple of years ago. I think it is probably safer to be a bit scared.

  8. Yikes, Christina – I was not nearly that cool the other night when I nearly ran into a Western Diamondback hunkered down at our back door 😦 Fortunately I saw it before it saw me and stepped back out of range; it certainly cut loose with a vicious rattle. I ran the dog in in a hurry and called our neighbor, but we lost track of the snake in the meantime, unfortunately. I hate having them around, but we’re in such a rural area, it’s part of life… Please pardon the snake story… 😉 Your pictures are so good and certainly show that tell-tale wedge-shaped head. That would be a difficult snake to spot on the open ground; no wonder you didn’t see the earlier one!

    • The Asp was also quite small, I think it looks larger than it was in my images. We have large snakes too, although I rarely see those but they aren’t poisonous so I’m not too worried by them. This one was more worrying because it didn’t try to get away so might well have bitten me if I hadn’t been lucky.

  9. OK, I’m officially scared by the very thought, Christina. So far, I’ve seen no such thing in our garden and hope it stays that way. But, more importantly, what happened to you when you were bitten 2 years ago? Why do you think it might have been this asp?

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