The weather is starting to get nicer and nature is waking up from its winter sleep. We have been out in the yard doing work. We have been rebuilding the chicken run from PVC to wood contruction, pulling weeds, stacking fire wood and kindling, mowing and weed wacking, etc. Of course, in the process we disturbed some critters.
I was working in the pool area and my husband was messing with the chicken run and I hear a small yell from him, “Snake!” I look over and this beauty was sitting there.
I figured it was a gartersnake but the red on it threw me off. I always thought gartersnakes were just black and white or yellow striped. I had to research more about them. They are actually fascinating creatures.
For instance, did you know that gartersnakes will strike and bite if they feel cornered or threatened? I mean, I knew they were snakes and figured they would defend themselves but was always told they are harmless. A bite from them would hurt but they are not venomous so in the long run, they won’t cause humans harm.
These guys are not afraid of the city life! They will hide in old abandoned buildings or sheds, under wood, rocks, or random objects. They shelter in the winter and are the most active from March to November. Their favorite foods are frogs, tadpoles, toads, salamanders, earthworms, minnows, small mice and other small snakes. They are actually great to have around especially if you have chickens because they will keep the mice population at bay (mice tend to find and mess with the chickens home where there is a constant supply of food).
These snakes can have an average of 12 baby snakes at a time but could have as many as 85 at once. Wow! Mama snakes that have 85 babies, I tip my hat to you ma’am! That is a lot of young for any creature.
Needless to say, we left our new snake friend alone. We were invading his home after all. My chickens saw him though and were ready to attack if he were to encroach on their habitat. They were, for sure, giving him the stink eye. I don’t know where he scurried off to and where his home is but ever since seeing him, I have now seen a few snake holes and only wonder how many of his buddies or offspring live on our property.
Have you seen a gartersnake in your yard? What did it look like? What did you do upon sight of the reptile? I would love to hear your stories in the comments.