Suburban Garden: Inflatable Rattlesnake

It’s as hot as a defective MacBook battery here, and about as pleasant as residing in a camel’s rectum. Not that I have ever lived in a camel’s rectum, but I imagine that it’s pretty fetid and sweltering. And windy … let’s not forget windy. Nevertheless, I persist – stubbornly, and in the tradition of my Wolgadeutsche ancestors – with my suburban vegetable gardening. After losing three beautiful tomatoes to bird beaks, I sought advice at the local garden center, where I was instructed to decorate the raised beds with fake snakes.


Fake diamondback rattler, amongst the cantaloupes and tomatoes

I don’t know whether the snake has frightened any birds away, but it has already scared the puppies, Hoshi and Sumi. They ran to the furthest corner of the yard, bwuffing and byurking in an alarmed manner.


Puppies, far removed from the inflatable rattlesnake

Below is a diagram of my backyard (not drawn to scale). The snake is currently located in raised bed A, and the puppies usually run between the beds at B, and then wrestle on a grassy patch at E. Now they retreat to P (and to pee). I’ve been instructed to move the snake every day or two, else the birds get used to it and are no longer deterred in their quest to ruin my tomatoes. The ovals at bottom left represent the dry streambed (rocks and plants), which also serves as a puppy Grand National jump.


Fortunately for the puppies, they can still find bits of dried horse manure at the bases of the fruit trees (I and J). Isn’t it great when some of your pets provide food for the others?



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5 Responses to Suburban Garden: Inflatable Rattlesnake

  1. cromercrox says:


  2. Steve Caplan says:

    We have a non-inflatable garden snake in our yard. Want to trade?

  3. Cath@VWXYNot? says:

    The snake is clearly doing it’s job, if the puppies (SOOO cute btw!) are so scared!

    I wonder how my cats would react to a fake snake… they sometimes get unaccountably freaked out by familiar, everyday objects (e.g. my work access card, on a lanyard, which they’ve seen every day of their lives for more than three years, but which sometimes startles them into full fight or flight mode for no reason I can determine).

    • KristiV says:

      I was initially worried that the puppies would attack and pop the snake, but they still won’t go near it. I suspect it would panic the horses as well, though I won’t try the experiment – innocuous things like plastic bags, kites, and Shetland ponies are enough to freak them out.

      Going with the assumption that the puppies are a Pomeranian mix, I’ve been trying to guess what the mix is. Don’t think it’s Chihuahua. Dachshund? (Dachseranian? Pomhund?) Miniature pinscher? (Pinscheranian? Pompin?) It’s anybody’s guess.

  4. Mike says:

    Wait – you feed puppies to your horses?

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