As promised, here are the two snakes I found on Friday. First, as I was loading my car in the afternoon, I noticed a robin in the yard acting strangely – pecking at something and then fluttering back. After a moment I realized it was attacking a small snake, so I went running over. Yes, I suppose I was interfering in a perfectly natural predator/prey interaction, but there are plenty of exotic invasive earthworms around for the robins to eat, they hardly need to be going after baby garter snakes.
You’d think it would be grateful that I saved its life, but no, it coiled up and tried to strike at me. Well, fine, be that way. Garter snakes have nasty dispositions, even though they’re small.
Then in the evening, I took a walk in the woods. I’ve been saying ever since I moved here how much I’d like to find a Redbelly Snake, Storeria occipitomaculata, and yesterday I finally got lucky! I almost stepped on it before I saw it, stretched out in the trail looking almost like a twig. Unlike garter snakes, these guys are very docile and easy to handle, so I couldn’t resist picking it up.
Look how little and cute! Look at those gorgeous crimson belly scales! These snakes live on the forest floor and eat slugs and earthworms. With their tiny mouths, I don’t think you’d feel it even if you did somehow manage to provoke one into biting you. (And I don’t think you could – other than being a little wriggly, this one was completely okay with being picked up, handled, and photographed. What a dear.)
So, there you have it – Rebecca’s further adventures with snakes!