Sssssay What?!

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.

Picture is not mine, it is from Missouri Department of Conservation.

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.

Picture from Don’s Garter Snakes on Facebook. This is a picture of baby red-sided gartersnakes like were in my yard.

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.

Credits: MO Dept. of Conservation & Don’s Garter Snakes

Our Daily Dealings is written by a husband and wife team and some guest authors. We come from very different backgrounds, family, cultural units but we have found a way to make 20 years work. We are so glad you are here and appreciate your support. Thank you for giving us even a few minutes of your time and we would covet your comments! Hope you have a great day!

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  1. We found them a lot more when we first moved in, seemed like every time the kids went outside. Now we don’t see them much any more. Expect for the on that got in the house and made it’s way to the one kids who is deathly afraid..lets just say it was an interesting morning!

  2. Never saw any surprisingly
    Might be startled at first…..so long as it stays outside, Iā€™d be ok šŸ‘šŸ¼

  3. When I was a very young kid, our cat, Patches, loved to hunt and bring her offerings to us. She often tried to sneak them inside to the kitchen before dropping them proudly at our feet. Once, she brought a garter snake. He appeared to be dead, but a few moments after she had dropped him and trotted away, my Mom went to sling him over a stick to take him outside, and he came back to life! My folks let my brother and I keep him as a pet. He could slither out of his cage no matter how well we sealed it. He “played dead” whenever he was approached outside of his cage. He loved to curl up in the bathroom where it was warmer and “play dead,” which gave my Mom many morning jolts! I was really little and I must have made him feel threatened one time when I was playing with him. He bit my knuckle! I remember that it hurt, but it was more like a vice-like pinch. I don’t think that any skin was pierced. I was fine afterwards, but it was hard to get him off! I have a vivid picture in my mind of helplessly dangling him from my finger as we tried to figure out how to make him release me without hurting him!


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