(Trigger warning: snakes)
As I putter around in my garden, I run into a garter snake once in a while. I know they're in there . . . hanging around in my shrubs and tall grasses (as they do). But I don't usually see them very often . . . maybe one a year? Maybe less?
When I do encounter one in the garden, I'm always startled. Really startled. Because they move so quickly. And they camouflage so effectively. I never see them . . . until they move. I'm not afraid of them, really. I don't mind that they're out there, in my garden. But they will always make me jump a little bit. And then run for my camera! (Because they're kind of cool.) (They're also good for the garden - click here to learn more - and are actually a sign of a healthy, well-balanced garden.)
This one . . . really surprised me! Because it was bigger than most garter snakes I see (about 3 feet long) and it moved across my path from the grass to this spot under the rose bush . . . quick as a wink. (It was not happy to see me, but it did pose for several photos.)
For whatever reason, I'm seeing more garter snakes than usual in my garden this year. Lots more. Enough that I poke around a bit with my garden tools before moving in under thick cover to do any weeding or digging. (I figure they don't want to see me the same way I don't want to see them, and my "poking around" gives them fair warning.)
Here's another one (much smaller; more typical) . . . just sunning itself in the midst of salvia plant. (Brian took this photo.)
The other day, Tom was out in the driveway and noticed a couple - just out for a walk - suddenly take out their phones and start taking pictures in our yard. They'd spotted a garter snake and were fascinated! (To Tom and I, it's kind of old news by this point.)
So. This is the Year of the Snake . . . in my garden, at least!
(Which may explain why there are no frogs in my pond this year. . . )
I hope you have a great weekend.
With no snakes (unless you want to see them) . . .