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Posts Tagged ‘Thamnophis sirtalis’

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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snake2

It’s not easy, being a little frog. When a lot of other critters think “What’s for dinner?”, often you are their answer! Even your larger relatives can’t be trusted. Lately, I’ve spotted a Garter Snake (Thamnophis sirtalis) close to the ornamental pond on a couple of occasions. I wondered if he was looking for a froggy dinner. Garter snakes are good swimmers, but I had no evidence of him entering the water. Recently, RailGuy noticed this snake just emerged from the pond. The telltale coating of duckweed shows that he was indeed in the water, no doubt hunting for a meal.

Of course, Garter snakes are themselves popular food items for a range of predators from large fish, bigger snakes, birds including crows, hawks and herons, and many mammals. Although harmless to humans, they are very often victims of undeserved persecution, and are also killed by dogs and cats, lawnmowers, automobiles, and pesticides. Like the frogs they hunt, they suffer from the destruction of their habitat, including wetlands.

snake1

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snakelong

When I went out to see what was blooming in the daylily patch last, someone else was already admiring the flowers. This little garter snake (Thamnophis sirtalis) prepared to make a swift exit as he kept a wary eye on my approach. I have to admit to having no desire to pick up or otherwise interact with snakes, but I’m glad to have them visit my garden, even if they’re not so eye catching as Kenton and Rebeccas’ corn snakes! Here are some of the blooms the snake and I enjoyed.

Prague Spring (Lambert 1989)

Prague Spring (Lambert 1989)

ChanceEncounter

Chance Encounter (Stamile 1994)

Nile Plum (Munson 1984)

Cameroons (Munson 1984)

Trahlyta (Childs 1982)

Trahlyta (Childs 1982)

Starman's Quest (Burkey 1989)

Starman's Quest (Burkey 1989)

Starman’s Quest is an offspring of Trahlyta. The family resemblance is easy to see, with Starman having a more spidery form. By the time I had visited all the flowers, Little Snake had decided I was no threat and settled down to enjoy the garden in peace.

snakecurled

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gartersnake

Garter Snake (Thamnophis sirtalis)

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