Sunday, June 12, 2011


I had the privilege to spend a couple of hours with this garter snake today -- judging from the coloration and location, I would guess a Thamnophis sirtalis concinnus -- which I found sunning on a trail less than a mile from my house. He was surprisingly placid as I carried him back home, but less so after getting thoroughly warmed up alongside the box turtle in the turtle's enclosure. 85 degrees (F) will do wonders for a snake's energy levels, especially as compared with the mid-60s the sun was producing in the area.

By the time I decided it was time to return him to the outdoors, he was in no mood to be caught, and he managed to zip around the interior of the enclosure a couple of times before I could get a hand on him again. By this time he felt we knew one another well enough to give me a couple of "fuck you" bites, but I saw these as nothing less than I deserved and proceeded to release him to the back yard, where he threaded into the hedge and went on his way. 

I wish him a productive breeding season, all the juiciest earth worms the neighborhood can offer, and none of the cats, raccoons, or, alas, grasping Homo sapiens.


Ian McCullough said...

I once captured a garter snake outside my house. I went inside to read up on them and found out they often release a foul smelling oil when worried. I came back outside and the snake had escaped, but not before despoiling a perfectly fine container. Well, he showed me.

Dale said...

Ian, he definitely snake-skunked me -- I still have the remains of the stench on my hands despite washing them several times. Again, it's nothing I didn't deserve.