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applestar
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A SNAKE! What kind is it?

I found a snake hiding in a dark space next to a black plastic edging in my garden! :D (I was weeding along there -- just pulling weeds with my bare hands when it moved and startled me :shock:)

First snake I've seen here, ever.8) It turned around and posed for the camera when I kept taking flash phoptos. Can someone tell me what kind it is? It's very small as you can see -- I think the tube-like top of the edging is maybe 1" wide.
[img]https://i290.photobucket.com/albums/ll272/applesbucket/9224290A-1CDD-4053-B3D3-B0B2CC4B41D7-22782-00000F5DEEC8DD86.jpg[/img]

[img]https://i290.photobucket.com/albums/ll272/applesbucket/A24F05D2-914E-4250-92C7-BF1C8407A7FB-22782-00000F5DDF22A443.jpg[/img]

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Kisal
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I would say it's a garden snake, based on the line down it's back and the narrow head. In some areas, garden snakes are called garter snakes. Poisonous snakes mostly have an arrowhead-shaped head.

I haven't looked up garden snakes for a long time, but some have a yellow line and a more green body, while others have a red line and a blacker body. (I think the ones with the red/black coloration are sometimes referred to as ribbon snakes, but don't quote me on that! :lol: )

The females give birth to live young, rather than laying eggs, so often you will find very small garden snakes around your yard. I don't think I've ever seen one much smaller than a yellow pencil, though.

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applestar
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Oh that's great! :D
I hope it sticks around. It was gone by the time I came back with my younger daughter (I probably disturbed it too much), but the area is close to my brush pile and the compost piles, and my neighbor's pond is nearby so there should be plenty of things to eat.

If this is a smaller specimen, it should mean it grew up around here, right?

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lorax
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Theoretically, yes, it grew up in or around your yard, and it will likely be back. I'll vote for it being a juvenile Black Racer.

[url=https://www.nj.gov/dep/fgw/ensp/pdf/snake_broch07.pdf]This guide to New Jersey's snakes[/url] may prove helpful to you. Turns out there are only two venemous ones in the state, and this little guy doesn't resemble either of them.

Apple, in the future the fastest way to tell poisonous from benign snakes is to have a look at their eyes (the flash obscured the eyes of this little guy, but I'm sure you could see them in person.)

Poisonous snakes have slit pupils like cats. Harmless snakes have round pupils like people.

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applestar
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OK thanks! -- I guess I need to take a closer look next time I see it... And if it's darker with less obvious patterning, then we'll know for sure.

Still excited that snake has joined my Garden Patrol/diverse community. :D

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applestar
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ANOTHER SNAKE! What kind is it?

...or maybe it's the same as that first one all grown up?

I heard a rustling sound by the pond and I looked, thinking it was a mole or a chipmunk, but what I saw was this :-()
image.jpeg
When I edged closer for a better shot, it slithered into the pond and swam across. I asked it if it was eating my fish, by any chance. :|

For reference, that white pot is 9" wide at the top.

Can anyone tell me what kind it is? This is only the 2nd time I've seen a snake in my garden, and I'm pretty excited about it. :()

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applestar
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Re: A SNAKE! What kind is it?

I was told this is probably an Eastern Garter Snake... And likely will eat some of the minnows. :|

I thought about it though, and the minnows are leftover fishing bait shiners that DH and DD brought home (and the goldfish, while wonderful that they survived from last year, were originally PetSmart "feeder" goldfish.... so I'd rather have the snake Image Image

Does the garter snake dive all the way down to catch the fish, I wonder....? But this does explain why I was feeling like there didn't seem to be as many fish in the pond as earlier when I was so happy to see they had survived the winter -- fickle me. :>

---

I suppose where snakes are abundant including venomous ones, my excitement might seem funny, but you know I try to make my postage stamp in a cookie cutter development a sanctuary of sorts, so I love seeing new species of insects, even pests because that means new predators might be drawn to the feast (I don't spray, etc. the pest for this purpose) ...and I feel like another tier in the form of a snake has been established in the biodiversity of my garden.

So while fully aware of the havoc it may cause among its food groups, I'm thrilled to welcome it among my residents and denizens, and as a new member of the Garden Patrol.

Image Studio Ghibri "NekoBus on a tree"
(I did feel a bit less guilty for the above when I spotted three minnows and one goldfish just a little while ago :D )

j3707
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Re: A SNAKE! What kind is it?

I like seeing them in my yard too...rumor has it garter snakes eat slugs, so they are doubly welcome.

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Lindsaylew82
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Re: A SNAKE! What kind is it?

2 years ago we had an eastern garter snake! Maybe it WAS all the slugs!! I should keep my eyes peeled! He was little. Maybe 18" long.

We also had a resident black snake king or rat or... I can't remember... He liked to hang out under the big squash canopies! He was HUGE!!! Like 5-6 feet, and FAT!

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pinksand
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Re: A SNAKE! What kind is it?

A facebook friend of mine posted a video of her husband chopping off the head of a garden snake claiming he "saved the day from a copperhead!" This was a tiny snake with markings that looked absolutely nothing like a copperhead. So much ignorance, I found it infuriating :( If someone posted a video of someone chopping off the head of a bunny people would be appalled! Why is it okay and even celebrated when it's a snake?

I'm with you, non venomous snakes are a welcome sight in my garden. We have the timber rattlesnakes and copperheads in our area. I've tried to learn what they look like because we often hike and mountain bike in the woods with our dog in rocky areas where they tend to sun themselves.

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Lindsaylew82
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Re: A SNAKE! What kind is it?

We have a pretty nice frog and toad population. I think that draws them in as a good source as well.

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applestar
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Re: A SNAKE! What kind is it?

I saw the snake again yesterday, just the tip of its tail as it was slithering into thicker grass and leaves.

Just now, a male Cardinal, a Blue Jay, and a House Wren were all making a huge racket by the brick patio. Generally this means a stray cat, but normally along the periphery of the property or outside. A stray cat shouldn't be inside the backyard fence, though they do get in occasionally. I actually heed the birds and prepare to chase the cat out if inside the fence.

But the way the three birds were intent at something on the ground level today, I think they spotted the snake. :bouncey:

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applestar
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Re: A SNAKE! What kind is it?

:-() I saw our snake again :-()

This time it was hiding in the strawberries :shock: :lol: luckily, I"d already harvested in the morning and was only looking in to this particular patch from outside the rabbit fence. Somehow, it sensed me coming and made a dash across the path, through the Myoga, to the dense growth behind the bat house pole and the garage wall. It took longer than I expected for the snake's tail to disappear. 8)

This is good because the outside mice somehow find their way into the garage. They leave in the summer when the garage and attic get too hot. Hopefully, this year, there will be less mice coming in at the end of the season when it gets cold, even if our kitties will be disappointed. :>

It's really ranging around our garden. It seems to be taking its job as a Garden Patrol member rather seriously. I'm glad it's STAYING. :()

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applestar
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Re: A SNAKE! What kind is it?

I hadn't seen the snake since I last posted about it and I was afraid something happened to it. But two days ago, my DD came out to the patio to call me where I was working in the garden to the side of the house and she froze (she said) because there was a ...the?... snake, right there in front of her. :eek:

Funny thing is all that morning, I was wondering where the frogs in the pond went. Having heard about the snake sighting, I was concerned that the snake might have eaten the frogs -- but all 5 at once? ...Happily I saw them all this morning, so I guess they were hiding from the snake.

I have been keeping my eyes open but have not seen it.

john gault
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Re: A SNAKE! What kind is it?

I still have yet to see a snake in my yard, but they are a very welcome addition, so I'll keep my eyes peeled for them; however, I do have legless lizards, which love hiding in mulch and since my yard is mostly mulch, it's somewhat of prime habitat. Legless lizards look just like snakes, but they are not https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Legless_lizard

And it's probably one reason (along with the moles) why I no longer have problems with snails/slugs, which infested my yard when I first started mulching -- they were all over the place, including climbing up everything, even my house.

I would definitely welcome some snakes, including the poisonous varieties, like the coral snake, which like similar habitats https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Coral_snake

john gault
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Re: A SNAKE! What kind is it?

BTW, here's a recent shot of the legless lizard.


Image

jedson303
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Re: A SNAKE! What kind is it?

As has already been suggested, it is almost certainly a garter snake. Completely harmless. I caught lots of these when I was a kid. I think its a good thing to have in a garden.

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applestar
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Re: A SNAKE! What kind is it?

Yeah did I mention how happy I am about having it in my garden? :-()

No frogs in sight again yesterday, so I suppose the snake was out and about... but I couldn't spot it. :|

@john gault, that legless lizard is unreal. Looks like a fat snake but the eye looks WRONG.

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applestar
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Re: A SNAKE! What kind is it?

When I was watering day before yesterday (for no reason as it turned out because it rained all day yesterday :roll: ), the snake slithered out from under the insect screen hoop tunnel protecting the Asian greens in the SF&H bed, so it does roam around. DD saw it on the patio a little while ago.

I'm REALLY hoping the little garter snake was taking care of the slug problem in the greens.... ...though it's jut as possible it was after the moles that enjoy the earthworm feast under the cardboard mulch (yeah ideal hiding place for slugs, I know)

Those Green Frog are GONE. Have not seen them for a week or more. Don't know if they decided to go walkabout, something went wrong with the pond water ecology (it looks very clear) or the snake stems them all one by one… or maybe the heron that overflies my garden once in a while on its way to the community pond about a mile away stopped by for a snack? Maybe it was raccoons?

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pinksand
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Re: A SNAKE! What kind is it?

My neighbors informed me of a snake living in my wood pile next to my compost bin! They showed me a photo and he's tan with a brown stripe down the back and fairly sizeable... probably getting fatter every day from the abundant vole and mouse population that we have in our yard this year. I'm really hoping he helps me out by taking care of these problems for me! The voles are wreaking havoc on my plants :(

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Greywolf
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Re: A SNAKE! What kind is it?

This is a topic that doesn't need a new one opened even a year after it started! And I just happen to live in a state where one of the favorite license tag designs says: "Watchable Wildlife", as in Raccoons that can tear up a pit bull dog...

In getting some things arranged for this year I met a new 'visitor', see video below!



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applestar
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Re: A SNAKE! What kind is it?

I love it! Thanks for sharing :()

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applestar
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Re: A SNAKE! What kind is it?

I just saw a snake in the pond from upstair’s window. :-()

It looks just like the the one in the photo collage on the 1st page, so maybe it’s the same one? By the time I came back with my iPhone, it was gone— I don’t think I could have captured it on the cell phone camera anyway, even though I did attach the telephoto lens.

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applestar
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Re: A SNAKE! What kind is it?

The snake was active today —

- First saw it in the Kitchen Garden (BOTTOM) — later noticed a badly chewed up Brussels Sprouts, so hopefully the snake had found a lovely slimy slug.
- then (CENTER) it was on the log, intently testing the air with its forked tongue
- then (TOP) I noticed the frog first, then the snake — very unusual to see them this close to each other... normally only see one or the other, or they are on the opposite sides of the pond or even far away in the garden.

Image
... I estimate at least 20 inches long, maybe 22”.

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applestar
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Re: A SNAKE! What kind is it?

Since the Carolina Wrens nesting in the back of the patio had fledgedyesterday, I though I would get back in the intentionally neglected area and clean up a bit, ....but!

Image

...I don’t know if it was already there, maybe attracted by the fledging day excitement, or I had scared it away from the pond with my digging and hauling, splashing around testing my pump models, etc.

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applestar
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Re: A SNAKE! What kind is it?

The Snake was on the patio again this morning. Maybe it was trying to stay warm.
Image

...but does it look like it had come OUT of my bucket of sticks/kindlings? I wonder if I should be being careful about putting more sticks in there....?


. . . DEFINITELY not seeing any mice, voles, moles, or chipmunks on the patio, running across or running along the base of the housewall like I used to . . .

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TomatoNut95
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Re: A SNAKE! What kind is it?

Yep, that looks like a Garter. I have snakes to. Early this spring I have found two itty bitty snakes-which look like little garters. I picked them up(with my gloves on, and a rag wrapped around it) and took them out of my yard.

A few years ago I was confronted with a copperhead in my greenhouse....SOOOO SCARY!! I crept out and using my hoe....whammo!! Bye-bye, copperhead. :>

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applestar
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Re: A SNAKE! What kind is it?

Oh! Forgot to mention — Came across a snake on Friday, and then Sat. Then my hubby saw one — presumably the same one — on Sunday. Most likely our resident Garter Snake is still alive and well and is patrolling the perimeters.

A big Green frog has been taking refuge on the patio in/near one of the reservoir buckets, and ribbit-ing day and night, and I’ve heard something smaller splashing into the pond when I walk by, so maybe more little frogs are in there. :D

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TomatoNut95
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Re: A SNAKE! What kind is it?

I've seen a coachwhip in the backyard twice so far. Snakes are not my friends, I need to get some of those snake away granuals...

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applestar
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Re: A SNAKE! What kind is it?

I realize there are too many venomous ones in your region, but I would be endlessly fascinated. I’ve only seen two kinds of snakes in NJ. The garter snake (one of which is now living in my own garden - yay!) and a large black one that crossed the parking lot at a nature preserve — the guide said it was a Corn/Rat Snake. There are only two venomous snakes in NJ — copperhead and rattlesnake.

I looked up the coachwhip —
“ The swift-moving coachwhip captures lizards, small mammals, large insects, and occasionally rattlesnakes “ ... also another quick summary mentioned coachwhip can reach 8 FEET! :shock:

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TomatoNut95
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Re: A SNAKE! What kind is it?

applestar wrote:
Thu May 06, 2021 2:19 pm
I realize there are too many venomous ones in your region, but I would be endlessly fascinated. I’ve only seen two kinds of snakes in NJ. The garter snake (one of which is now living in my own garden - yay!) and a large black one that crossed the parking lot at a nature preserve — the guide said it was a Corn/Rat Snake. There are only two venomous snakes in NJ — copperhead and rattlesnake.

I looked up the coachwhip —
“ The swift-moving coachwhip captures lizards, small mammals, large insects, and occasionally rattlesnakes “ ... also another quick summary mentioned coachwhip can reach 8 FEET! :shock:
Speaking of venomous snakes, I saw a cottonmouth in the backyard. About 2 1/2 or three feet long, fat body, stubby tail, triangular shaped head, yellow patterned belly and dull, black gold tinted top.
It slithered off into the woods, I really wish I had gone and gotten my gun.
What else scary am I gonna find in my backyard??? Wait, better not say anything and jinx myself. 😂

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applestar
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Re: A SNAKE! What kind is it?

Sliding in between forum testing cycles to report — I saw the snake!

It evidently spent the winter in the compost pile again. :-()

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applestar
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Re: A SNAKE! What kind is it?

Saw the Garter Snake again yesterday — not at the compost pile but hanging out close to a garden hose by the fence. I’m glad to see it roaming around — hopefully will help to keep down the vole and chipmunk pilfering around the garden during the spring planting season and then later when the crops are closer to harvesting :-()

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applestar
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Re: A SNAKE! What kind is it?

Sooo, I needed to top up the Vegetable Garden SIP with more potting mix, so I reached for an opened bag that had been accidentally left only loosely twisted closed under one of the patio chairs — I’d been avoiding it to use in the house since anything including ants could have moved in….

As soon as I dragged it out from under the chair and opened it, there it was — a tiny checker-patterned Eastern Garter Snake, coiled and poised, looking up at me from the top of the mound of potting mix.

After a wild brain storm burst of possibilities including “what if it hatched among a pile of eggs?” — I carefully and gently dumped the bag out in a shallow storage tub.

It was the only one with no other siblings. It did not appreciate the rough handling and losing the cozy home, and immediately scrambled out of the tub on its own while I was trying to figure out how to get it out :lol:

Hopefully it was able to find a different place to hang out.
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