Yikes! I don’t mind snakes, but the sheer numbers we found today is a little alarming. Thankfully they are small enough that they likely just hatched, and they will be moving along to find their own hunting ground in the VERY near future. (Makes me wonder where the nest was… I think I’ll be looking for that so I can remove it and make snakes look elsewhere for a nest site in the future.)
At the beginning of the spring, I intended to have a rather large garden. To that end I set out several pieces of plywood flat on the ground to begin killing the vegetation under them so it would be easier to dig up and plant later. For various reasons I decided to go with a smaller garden this year, and never moved the plywood. Until today.
According to what we can find online, they are all very young Red Stripe Garter Snakes. They are currently about a foot long and a bit thicker than a pencil, and they grow to a maximum of 36 inches (females) and proportionately thicker. Harmless to humans, non-venomous, but as adults they will eat tiny mammals and small birds when they can get them – which means I need to be careful with newborn rabbits and newly hatched chicks. This time of year I don’t have any of either, so that’s OK. Technically they could eat an egg, but rarely do. They can range in color from yellow to orange to red to black, always with stripes along the length of their body.
I only got photos of four (five?) of them, but there were more that crawled away when the plywood was raised. Guess I’ll be getting rid of that plywood soon and finding another way to kill the grass in places I want to garden.
Snakes in the grass, opossum in the chicken run, wasps in the propane grill, mosquitoes everywhere… this homesteading thing is hazardous, but fun for those of us who like to watch wildlife and take the proper precautions to keep our livestock safe.