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Posts Tagged ‘eastern garter snake’

viceroy

Viceroy (Limenitis archippus)

When I’m walking or working in the garden, I always keep my camera close at hand, because you never know who you might see. The garden plays host to an awesome assortment of creatures. Many garden inhabitants live hidden lives and remain invisible, their presence undetected by we mere humans. Others are more amenable to photography, or at least are engrossed in their own activities and pay no heed to the photographer.

No pesticides of any sort, toxic or organic, are used in my garden. Life is too precious. Plants that don’t thrive in this ecosystem are replaced with more tolerant species. Here is a selection of photographs of garden life. It is by no means all-inclusive. Some visitors are heard, but not seen, so the closing entry is a short recording of a black-billed cuckoo (Coccyzus erythropthalmus), ho-ho-hoing softly from shrubbery.

question

Question Mark (Polygonia interrogationis)

white admiral

White Admiral (Limenitis arthemis)

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redadmiral

Red Admiral (Vanessa atalanta)

swallowtail

Canadian Tiger Swallowtail (Papilio canadensis)

twobutterflies

Banded Hairstreak (Satyrium calanus)

wood

Common Wood-Nymph (Cercyonis pegala)

butterfly

Mourning Cloak (Nymphalis antiopa)

skipper

Skipper sp.

frog

Green Frog (Rana clamitans melanota)

toad

American Toad (Bufo americanus)

snapper

Baby Snapping Turtle (Chelydra serpentina)

snake

Eastern Garter Snake (Thamnophis sirtalis)

dragonfly

Dragonfly, Meadowhawk sp.

moth2

Virginia Ctenucha moth (Ctenucha virginica)

spider

Yellow Crab Spider (Misumena vatia) with prey

mountain ash sawfly larvae

Mountain Ash Sawfly larvae (Pristiphora geniculata)

bee

Bumblebee (Bombus sp)

mayfly

Mayfly (order Ephemeroptera)

moth

Hummingbird Clearwing Hawkmoth (Hemaris thysbe)

squirrel

Red Squirrel (Tamiasciurus hudsonicus)

hummer

Ruby-throated Hummingbird (Archilochus colubris ) female

cedar

Cedar Waxwing pair (Bombycilla cedrorum)

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snake2

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.

snake1

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