While we were staying at my mum's, my little girl came rushing in to the house, 'Mummy, mummy, there's a snake in the garden!' I followed her out quickly, half-expecting to find a hose-pipe, a long stick or a big worm. However, she was both right and truthful and there was, indeed, a snake in the garden. It had, apparently 'rustled' out of a small bush. It may not have been much compared to the kind of rattlers my California resident brother sees regularly on hikes, but I was impressed. I checked it for the diamond pattern which would indicate it was an adder and therefore venomous and, assured that it was only a harmless grass snake, proceeded to get some photos. As soon as we retreated to the other end of the garden it slithered out of its ineffectual hiding place and into a shrub. I saw it later, bathing in the pond, but did not catch a glimpse of it again. No doubt its quiet idyll of garden and pond was somewhat disrupted by the presence of three energetic and cork-boat-building children. I expect it has breathed a sigh of relief and, hopefully, is enjoying its once again child-free home.