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Monday, April 28, 2008

More on the Common Garter Snake

Thamnophis sirtalis

I forgot to look down as I walked across the grass to where the garter snakes usually are and almost trod on one. He would have slithered away before that happened, I'm sure.

This garter snake was found in another part of the yard altogether, near the bird feeders, well away from the other ones.

Suddenly I am seeing differently and constantly correcting myself now that the garter snakes have come out of hibernation and into the open. We don't have that many here, but, sometimes what appears to be a small branch lying on the ground on closer inspection is actually a garter snake. The reverse is true as well. More than once I've mistaken a twig for a garter snake.

This last picture really shows their beautiful way of being in the natural world. This birch tree is one of their favourite spots, and most days I am certain to find one or two garter snakes arranged along its length soaking up the afternoon sun. Please do enlarge the picture to see their heads better. I was trying to get their whole bodies in with all the loops and curves.

Are these two garter snakes in love?
I don't know, but they sure
make a compatible looking pair.

Notes on Garter Snakes:

  1. They give birth to live young in late summer.
  2. There are between 20 and 40 babies per litter.
  3. Their diet consists of earthworms, frogs, and mice.
  4. They are not poisonous and will only attempt to bite if they are picked up.