Sunday, July 6, 2008
My Gardner Snake Buddy!
Living out here in the country, I’ve yet to get used to snakes. I don’t mind sharing my space with all creatures big and small. Yet when my immediate close proximity is invaded by a slithering snake underfoot, I get totally terrified. I gasp and stop my stride in mid air, taking great lengths to avoid stepping on one, even if it’s a small garden snake.
Our garden snakes live and hibernate under our huge cut log wood piles, and are often seen sunning themselves when the weather turns warm. Due to all the rain we’ve had, I’ve found them everywhere including my flowerbeds, by the pool, and in the backyard. Photo of my snake buddy above taken when hanging out clothes in the backyard today, he scared the crap out of me! I'm sure I scared him too, approaching him in my abrupt manner. I keep forgetting he suns himself there! Snakes blend in well with their terrain, and are hard to see until you are almost upon them. He crawled into the dog box and let me get a nice close shot.
The Gartner snake, or garden snake, or gardner snake is a Northern American snake, completely harmless, and typically found in American gardens, which is the origin of it’s name. The garden snake varies in species adapting to many different ecological habitats, on land or in wetlands close to streams. Living in a damp, wooded area, snakes are drawn around our home!
The San Francisco gartner snake in an endangered species, sporting red and orange patterns and a red head. Don Robertson has a wonderful site on these stunning rare snakes.
Gardner snakes eat slugs, earthworms, insects, leeches, lizards, spiders, amphibians, birds, fish, and rodents. Ribbon snakes, mine strongly resembles an Eastern Ribbon Snake not sure exactly what he is, eat small fish, tadpoles, salamanders, small frogs and toads, and insects. They swallow prey whole like many other snakes do! Maybe the reason why our toads have disappeared this season. Ribbon snakes rarely bite, but will emit a foul musk from their anal glands. My husband picked one up not too long ago, and it urinated on him, thus the foul musk!! I love living in the country, I see things here I never saw in the city. I’ve embraced a deep, profound love and respect for all living creatures!