Garter snake on the trail

One of the joys of walking the same route fairly frequently is making the acquaintance of some of the other inhabitants. Last week it was the mud turtle. Today it was this garter snake. He, or she, to be honest there’s no easy way to tell which is which among snakes, hangs out at the top of a small rise, often sunning himself out on the path.

We first met three years ago, when he was newly-hatched and only about 6 inches long. He was pretty skittish then and disappeared quickly into the undergrowth whenever I’d come by. A year later he was a good foot or foot-and-half long, and he’d mellowed a bit, moving leisurely, watching me the whole time. He’s quite a bit longer now. Three feet, I’d say, and not the least bit aggressive. I was kind of hoping he’d coil up and look fearsome, but he was more curious about the camera than alarmed.