Friday, September 5, 2008

The difficult life of a garter snake

This is a garter snake:

This is a garter snake skin:

A few times a year an adult garter snake will shed its entire skin as its body grows.

This is a dead garter snake. This poor guy was, quite literally, stomped flat:

I sure hope this wasn't the same snake I spent thirty minutes cutting out of my deer netting a few weeks back.

Donkeys don't like snakes. I know this now because I found these snake remains in the donkey paddock. Yep, flat as a pancake, this guy:

Cats, however, like garter snakes:

This kitty wanted to eat this snake:

The garter snake, however, wasn't ready to be lunch:

But the cat was patient and persistent:

And ultimately got him across the street to the sidewalk:

Where he promptly lost interest and went off to do other kitty things:

It's not easy being a snake:


  1. Poor thing! The donkey's are clever, though, knowing to stomp on it.

  2. I had a garter snake meet me at the water faucet up at the ranch! UNFORTUNATELY at the place where I board my horses, the people breed birds, and thus HATE snakes! He/she was very pretty and thank goodness it got away! That is/was a very beautiful snake!

  3. Ew, haha, it's definately not easy being a snake...oops, I almost wrote's not easy being a snake snack either! :D

  4. That'll teach that garter to go in the barn!!! I think the garters around here better watch their backs, I hear guineas don't like snakes any more than donkeys!!!

  5. I am not big on snakes, but I do like kitties! Nice photos of both. I didn't know that donkeys would stomp a snake flat. I learn so much from your blog.

  6. I'm off to the hardware store today to purchase the pieces for a snake pole - I think I'd rather relocate the rattlers than kill them, or be held hostage in my house waiting for a big old bull snake to leave the porch. Mikey posted the how-to on the snake pole here if you're interested -

  7. I just moved some boards in a paddock I'm making into the ram pen and there where 5 shed out skins from the garter that was making a fast getaway from me thru the grass. I felt bad as if must of been his/her home for quite some time. I sure hope that wasn't the snake you spent all that time rescuing too!! Beautiful cat, loved the sequential pics of the snake that didn't want to be eaten!:)

  8. Wow, those are kinda yucky and kinda cool. I do think it's fascinating though.

  9. Sounds like you don't want to get on a donkey's bad side.

    As for kitty there, it's a good thing that was a garter snake and not something a little less friendly or he'd have found out about the effects of curiosity on his kind. Pretty cute little fella though.

  10. The orange on your kitty is so pretty. My cat is a tabby with orange patches too and I think she is beautiful.

  11. hi solomon - yeah, those donkeys are uncanny in the way they protect their surroundings!

    hi cheryl - thanks for commenting! we view the garter snakes around here as helpful because they eat all the yucky bugs and rodents - but I guess if I bred (small) birds, I'd be concerned, too!

    hi mellimaus - you are so funny...a snake snack!

    hey eve - wouldn't that be a sight? a flock of guineas stomping on a snake? lol

    hi farmer jen - donkeys will try to stomp a number of things flat, if given the chance. i've found it's kind of a donkey-personality thing, though, as to which things/critters they will perceive as threats.

    hi 7msn - you're teasing me, aren't you, about that snake-catching-pole...i know that your snakes are a force to be reckoned with where you live, while my wee garter snakes must give you quite the chuckle. :-)

    hi wrensong farm - i read that when snakes are babies, they can shed their skins as frequently as once every 4 to 5 weeks, so this might explain the huge number of skins you found.

    hi nw nature nut - I never get used to stumbling upon one of these guys. I'm sure glad they're not dangerous, like the ones over at 7MSN's place.

    hi carolynn - I read that the number one enemy of garter snakes currently, aside from humans of course, is the cat! Cats have reduced the natural garter snake population significantly in urban areas!

    hi christy - ok, here's the funny thing. That's not my cat. I was on my way to pick up my son and driving through some suburban neighborhood when I happened upon these two in the middle of the street. Since I always have my trusty camera at my side, I merely pulled over and watched (and photographed) the drama unfold. :-)

    I really appreciate all your comments!! :-)

  12. I'm surprised kitty didn't get a nose full of garter snake teeth.
    I've heard that donks don't like snakes. I guess your kill first and ask questions later. ;)

  13. A perfect blog; good story, good photos, drama and comedy, and plenty of useful info. I enjoyed it. My only other comment is, tell the cat that gardener don't taste all that well and to head over to 7msn's and get some of those good eating rattlers. Yum Yum

  14. Fearmgirl, I love ya , but that cat is too f**in brave ...please show him or her this video,copy..paste..

  15. That is really cute. Our chickens have caught snakes and lizards and it is so funny to see them run from the others trying to hoard the goods.


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