Often described as ‘cool’ and ‘cute,’ snakes were a precious discovery in the yard when my sons were young. My grandsons were just as smitten recently when their dad was able to capture one I had spotted swimming across a large vernal pool in the woods.
This Maritime Garter Snake Thamnophis sirtalis pallidula was in its Unstriped phase. These garter snakes also have Black and Striped phases.
It seemed fairly non-aggressive according to my son, who’s been bitten by garter snakes in the past. It was pretty compliant and even stuck out its forked tongue for the camera.
As I expected, there were tears shed when it was released back into the wild. Why can’t we keep it? I want to keep it as a pet! Though they can be fairly friendly, garter snakes do give off a bad scent in captivity or when they feel threatened. When will we ever find another? I’ve come across a few already in the woods this year, so there’s a good chance we’ll see another soon.
In the meantime, we’ll let this one enjoy its freedom in the summer sun. Happy trails snake. (Just don’t freak me out by getting under my feet in the woods!)
Text and photographs copyright Amy-Lynn Bell 2013