As I walked along the edge of the garden this morning, I glanced over to see how the rodgersias were doing (quite well), and a pattern caught my eye, a garter snake (Thamnophis sirtalis). He/she was a fair size, close to 3 feet in length, but it was the expanded pattern between the stripes that made me look more closely.
Garter snakes are usually rather shy, happy to beat a hasty retreat as soon as they’re spotted. However, this individual was in no rush to move on, and indeed was very cooperative, waiting patiently while I retrieved my camera from the house and took a few photos. It appears that a meal had recently been ingested, perhaps one of the numerous toads that call the garden home, and the snake was loath to move on while it digested brunch.
It’s probably just fancy that suggests the snake is smiling a contented smile.