The Common Garter Snake

Snakes. Another sign spring is here. Forget Robins. I have seen Robins here in early March when days were warming and snow was melting, just to be slammed with another 2 weeks of winter.  The poor things freeze and starve. Still, Robins are normally a sign of spring and so are Garter snakes. If you are lucky to see one.

My friend and I almost stepped on this little guy, basking in the warm sun along the trail. When Kathleen pointed it out to me, I had to get a close personal encounter with it.

Since I was a child, every single Garter Snake I had the pleasure to come upon, I had to try to capture it. I was fascinated by them (I still am). I even tried keeping one as a pet, but I couldn’t get it to eat. Worried I would starve the little bugger, I set it free a few days later. Besides, they stink to high heaven if they pee on you.

Oh, the days when I was a child where I would find one and show everybody. The reactions I would get! Everything from smiles and nods, to downright anger with disapproving looks, to frantically backing away from me tripping over their own feet yelling “Holy F@#! Get that thing away from me!”

The latter reactions were always funny to me, still is, but I was disappointed too…snakes are cool, aren’t they? Well, harmless Garter Snakes are. I wouldn’t be running after a Rattle Snake trying to pick it up.

Snake 5 web

Finding and showing of a Garter Snake also meant that I had a following of other kids wanting to touch it, hold it, feel it, and keep it for themselves. I had a posse at my command, if only for a short while. But eventually, I would start to feel bad for the snake. Concern would wash over me that it was being handled too much, it might be missing its family, or maybe it was a daddy or a mommy snake. Ultimately I would put it back where I found it (except that one time I kept one as a pet) and chase the other kids away until it had a chance to get away.

The more encounters I get with these creatures, the more opportunities of wildlife photography shots and Letter Art Photography shots (letter S’s, U’s J’s, O’s?) for my business. I recently acquired the knowledge of the whereabouts of a Garter Snake den. I think it’s time to head over there and see what I can find. Perhaps the whole alphabet or maybe something that looks like what nightmares are made of.

Snake 3 web

More about the Common Garter Snake:

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