Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Eastern Garter Snake

Having a permanent water source means that you will attract a variety of water dependent species, especially during a severe drought. If that water happens to be outside the front door to your house, you will most likely have frequent encounters with those species. I found this Eastern Garter Snake hunting in the overflow pool from my water garden. Like a child, this snake should have had a face wipe before the photo session.

This is what caught my eye as I was walking by. It looked like a piece of hose had been thrown into the water. Since I didn’t have any striped hose, I knew it had to be a snake. I really love finding snakes.

I followed the line of the body through the duckweed and finally came to the head. For some reason I always have trouble getting snakes to stick out their tongues for the camera. I had the camera lens about eight inches from the snake’s head, but I still had to waggle my fingers in front of its face in order to get any reaction.

This specimen measured about 18 inches in length. Its coloration blended quite well with the duckweed and algae. Since there are people who don’t share my enthusiasm for finding snakes, I’m glad that the snakes are so good at remaining unnoticed.

Overflow from the water garden enters the tub from behind the pine branches. In a year of normal rainfall, this pool is always full of water. We’re now entering our fourth consecutive month of drought and there hasn’t been any overflow to replenish this water supply. This is also the preferred pool from which the deer like to drink. Thirsty deer can use a lot of water.

I imagine this is what the snake was after. There are several of these newly transformed Green Frogs in the overflow pool. Baby frog is a favorite of garter snakes.


  1. Great images once again. You have your own ecosystem right there in your overflow pool with easy access for image capturing.

    I like having garter snakes in my garden to eat all the slugs so I don't dislike them at all. :)

  2. Hi Steve...need I explain "NO"!!
    I looked at the last picture of the frog and I remember the time a garter snake was about to grab one from my pond....well lets just say he never did that again!! : }

  3. Hi, Lois. Welcome home. My little pool has certainly entertained me over the years.

    Sorry, grammie g. I was so busy making sure there were no pictures of spiders or creepy bugs that a snake slipped through. I would mix in some flower pictures, but the drought has caused them all to dry up.