We squirrels have had a busy couple of days and fell behind at The Squirrel Nutwork. But that has given us a chance to find out it’s World Snake Day!
Please join us in supporting snake awareness in a positive way. Think of how many more pesky mice we’d have competing for our acorns…or finding your vine ripe tomatoes.
This little Eastern Garter Snake grabs up those mice, as well as slugs and worms from your garden, giving them the nickname ‘gardener snake’. They are a species that prefers a damp area, like to swimming and catch fish and small amphibians.
If your snake knowledge is sorely lacking, visit National Geographic or Care2 to learn more!
Snakes: Give ’em a break!
Hickory wasn’t too excited about the animal we saw today.
Good thing this garter snake disappeared fast! Though not faster than Hickory!
I haven’t forgotten your mystery this week, but it did almost get away from me.
Do you know what this animal is? Send me a note in the comments. See you later with the answer!
No guesses, but I suspect this one was too easy! Yellow, or at least pale stripes running the length of a snake always means a Garter Snake.
Garter Snakes live all over North America–because they will eat pretty much any animal small enough to catch. No matter where they are found, Garter Snakes vary in color from tan to brown, from light green to dark. They will be semi-aquatic if there is water nearby, so that means they are found close to water more in the east than in the west. We’re willing to bet one lives near you!
Of course not all the bugs are in the air. Fish do a fine job of eating aquatic insects…and then the fishermen do a fine job of eating the fish. If the snakes don’t get them first, and unfortunately those snakes are just as misunderstood as the bats.
Garter Snakes frequent water, gorging on fish, frogs and other amphibians. But when on land, they will eat many things, including mice and slugs. Definitely a garden friend!
Nutmeg here, interrupting for a brief announcement: This might be squirrel week – go check #squirrelweek – but the team here said no to Hickory’s request to post Eastern Gray Squirrel pictures on the E, G and S days of our Blogging A To Z Challenge. Sorry. If you want more photos of squirrels—and some that are not squirrels, go figure—try this link to the photos readers are submitting to the Washington Post’s Squirrel Week.
Thanks for your patience. And now lets get back to Hickory’s proper G post
Yes, er, thanks, Nutmeg. Hey folks! G is for Garter Snake!
Here’s a friendly fellow who is as at home in the water as on the land. He’ll eat fish and earthworms, and those field mice you want to keep from homes and gardens. Please let snakes stick around your house! They have far fewer babies than rodents and spread far fewer diseases. Who would you rather have for a nature neighbor?
So, I also promised to keep up our Motionless Monday column by posting our favorite wildlife statues. Here is a family of Great Egrets–or they might be Great Blue Herons–a Field Correspondent sent to us.
They come from the Eastern Shore, Chincoteague, Virginia, courtesy of a local squirrel there named Delia.
Hickory and I were playing chase and leap through the natural area the other day and found a great dead tree to scamper over. As we got to a rotten part the last storm had broken open, Hickory suddenly froze. He backed up, turned and ran right into me.
“Geez. What’s up with you?” I asked.
He ran past me. “Let’s get out of here.”
“Why? Is it an owl?” I asked as I ran with him.
“No, worse. A snake.”
I stopped. “A big one?”
He turned around and shrugged. “Didn’t see.”
“You didn’t see? Then I’m gonna go look.”
You may think I was really brave, but I did go up a nearby tree and out on a limb to look. I got a good view—of a little garter snake sunning on the warm wood.
But better than that, I got to tease Hickory all the way home. Garter snakes are perfectly harmless, especially to an animal as big as we are. The may eat mice, along with a good many worms and salamanders, but they rarely get big enough to eat even a kit squirrel.