We’ve noticed a lot more garter snakes than usual this Spring. It’s not just us. Others who use Nextdoor have mentioned it, too. “Snakes! Do you know what this is?” accompanied with a photo from their cell phone, is the usual posting about it. This is probably a good thing. Yes, they’re garter snakes, and are harmless to humans, household pets, and most livestock, although they can freak out a horse. What it does tell me, though, is the mouse population outside is higher than usual, to support such a snake population. Garter snakes eat frogs and insects, too, which, again is a good thing. I’d rather not have to spend my mornings fishing frogs out of our pool. They belong in the pond as a food source for the blue herons.
Well, better mice outside than inside. We got a mouse inside last Fall, but one of our cats killed it, and pranced around with it in her mouth, showing off her prowess.
We live in the country, so mice are a fact of life — outside, anyway. Mice don’t bother me. Snakes don’t bother me, unless they’re timber rattlers, which is the only poisonous snake native to our part of the country. They mostly hang out in the deep woods, anyway, and won’t strike without first giving a rattling warning. If you hear that, you do a 180, and book outta there. Poison ivy is a bigger threat to us in the woods than snakes are. Still, I find it interesting that the garter snake population is way up this year. Our dog does obey the “leave it” command.