For today’s Backyard Adventure, we explored life underneath the rocks, surrounding our fire pit. While there is an unbelievable amount of life that can be found there, today’s focus will be on on creature in particular.
This creature is known as Thamnophis sirtalis, otherwise known as the Common Garter Snake. This is a non-venomous reptile can be found all around North America.
During our Backyard Adventure today, we discovered three different Garter Snakes, all fairly young.
The Garter Snake can grow up to about 4ft in length but most remain a bit smaller. The specimens we found in our backyard today most likely feed on crickets (of which there are many), worms and other small insects.
As they get bigger they can eat small fish, tadpoles, small frogs and other things like that.
As with all reptiles, the Garter Snake is cold blooded, meaning that it needs an external source to stay warm. Typically, that source is the sun. During the winter months, Garter Snakes in colder climates will hibernate.
We live in the city and our backyard is full of these amazing little snakes. In fact, we found these three right away. They were hiding under some rocks and enjoying the heat emitting from the sun soaked rocks.
Lizze and the boys enjoyed carefully turning over rocks and discovering what was underneath.
Everyone touched the snakes in order to feel the smooth, scaly texture of their skin. Snakes aren’t slimmy at all. Lizze and Emmett were both willing to hold one of the baby snakes and did so with great care.
While they were holding the snakes and looking under the rocks, I taught them the basic things about Garter Snakes, mentioned above.
One thing that you always have to very, very careful of, is ever approaching a snake that you are unfamiliar with. Some snakes can be very, very dangerous. Never ever approach a snake without a grownup (one that has knowledge of how to tell if a snake is venomous or not).
Always remember to wash your hands after handling a snake.
While I was doing some research for our little Backyard Adventure, I was reminded that I have to remember to be careful as well. I had forgotten that there are in fact, venomous snakes in Ohio.
You can check out the Ohio Department of Natural Resources website for more information on these snakes, especially if you live in Ohio.
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