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Slow worms

Slow worm (sub-species) filmed in Corfu (May, 2011)

Lake District Visit (posted 16/4/2009)

Over the Easter Bank Holiday I went mountain biking in the Lake District. The weather was superb and it was just sooo good to be in one of my favourite places. I spent quite some time around Grizedale Forest and Dale Park in particular, and also got the opportunity to call in to a place which has always been very special to me – a small farm cottage where I used to visit with my Grandma and  family when I was a boy. The place brings back so many fond memories. I used to love going there every summer and could hardly wait to get out of the little  Morris Minor to start searching for lizards, snakes, toads and frogs 🙂 Well, this time I wasn’t searching for any herps (although I was very tempted to start looking!), but last time I visited the farm I was with  BBC Countryfile  in search of Slow Worms:

7 Responses

  1. Loved your Video Diary! Thanks! Cat

    PS Unrelated to frogs — My strongest memories of the Lake District are (a) getting appendicitis there at age 11 and (b) returning there for a school “boat trip” at 15 (I had to share a boat with Mr. Moody who did NOT believe in using soap on his frying pans!). Beautiful part of the country!

  2. Mr. Gray,
    I live in Tampa FL and while digging to plant tomatoes yesterday we came across a species we didnt recognize..after searching it appears to be a slow worm. Is this even possible in Florida? One we release to the garden, the other we kept in a huge planter to identify. It seems to burrow with easy in the soft sandy soil. We took pictures, it appears to be a juvenille

    • Dear Karin,
      Thanks very much for message. I think what you have come across is something very similar to our slow worms, another type of legless lizard called a glass lizard (of the Genus Ophiosaurus). What a wonderful find! If you would like to send me a photo I would love to see the species you came across.

  3. Mr. Gray,
    Here are the pictures of our species. One is a short video where you can see the underside. It does have a tongue similar to a snake. Hopefully these will help in identifying.

    [video src="http://s201.photobucket.com/albums/aa121/KariBeth510/?action=view&current=DSCF2191.flv" /]

    Thanks so much for taking the time to look.


    • Dear Karin,

      Thanks very much for showing the video, very interesting stuff. I now think I was wrong about what you previously described. I would say that this is possibly some sort of blind snake (perhaps the Brahminy). These are harmless and don’t carry any venom. I was aware that some blind snakes from Asia had been introduced to Florida in soil and that they have thrived, however it is great to hear from someone who has actually found them in their garden. Hope this helps unsolve the mystery! Best wishes, Andrew

  4. Indeed SHE is a Brahminy!!! Thanks so much. We would have never figured it out. They have only been found as recent as 2003 in our county (Hillsborough). A welcome resident – she can eat all the ant and termite larvae she pleases!! We will add her to the list of Florida Pine, King,Ring-Neck, Black Racer, Rat Snake,Pygmy Rattler countless reptiles found in our yard…you are welcome to visit next time you are in our neck of the world for some critter hunting!!!


  5. I remember a certain Mr. Gray’s rather awesome birthday party held at some farm cottage in the Lake District maybe 25 years ago. There must have been 20 or 30 of us staying overnight. The log fire was going. There was snow outside. The sleeping bunks up stairs weren’t overly comfortable and I can remember feeling a bit cold in my sleeping bag. It’s no wonder some slept by the fire! I didn’t go climbing any mountain with the main party, the snow had put me off and it was much too cosy chatting to the remaining guests. The Lake District is a place of magical beauty and there were a number of times I visited with the scouts, ACF or with some outward bounds course in my younger years. Other times just passing through for work or to collect the odd frog or snake from someone that lived in that direction. We are so lucky to have some amazing places to visit in the UK.

    Love reading the blog Andrew. Keep the stories coming.

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