Thursday, November 12, 2009

Garter Snake

I never tire of finding snakes and it’s amazing how many of them are willing to sit quietly while I take pictures. The camera lens was six inches from the snake’s nose when I took this shot. This is the Eastern Garter Snake, a common species in Ohio that is normally found somewhere near water. This one was about 100 feet uphill of the creek. The Garter Snake seems to be the last species to head under cover in the fall and is usually the most common snake I find in November.

When I was a kid, finding something like this was like finding buried treasure. Back then I didn’t mind the snake’s “Stinky Poop” defense and would have had this guy scooped up and half tamed before my Mom could say “What have you got there, Steven? Put that down!”

This snake is looking a bit blue. Maybe it’s just depressed at the thought of cold temperature soon to come. This species can display quite a range of colors and confuses some people into thinking they are seeing many different species of snake.

The two old snake nests are not far from where I found the Garter Snake. Garter Snake young develop inside the female and enter the world fully formed and ready to go, so those nests couldn’t have been made by this snake.

 When I looked up from photographing the snake, I was startled to see this object. At first I thought Rover had come to return me to The Village. Then I saw it was just balloon number five of the season. Not a Halloween balloon as I had predicted, but good enough to tie my record for one year’s find. One more balloon before the end of December and I have a new record.

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