Thursday, July 2, 2009

Where the Idea Came From

Do you suppose this little Plains garter snake is where humans got the idea for checkerboards and checkered tablecloths, and plaid shirts, and brick laying? What about laying tile? What would New York City be without checkered cabs?

This little guy was a bit stunned when he got bounced by a soccer ball in the back yard. He was just probably minding his own business looking for breakfast when a soccer ball fell from the heavens and landed right on top of him. Luckily, my son, like me, likes snakes. He came in to find me and we determined that said snakey was just a bit addle-brained from his encounter and not dead.

He normally would not be so anxious to pose for paparazzi, but was glad to be out of harms way. I held him for a bit to make sure he'd be okay, as anything lying still for even a moment will be found by fire ants and quickly consumed.

When he seemed properly peeved that I was holding him, I put him in my garden. Garters are a major consumer of slugs, snails and other plant eating beasties. He's more than welcome anytime. I just hope he stays off the soccer field that is my back yard. Next time he might not be so lucky.


  1. That is a BEAUTIFUL garter snake! I've never seen one like that. I think we just have green ones around here. They're pretty too - but that perfect checkered pattern is amazing.

  2. Wow - your Texas garter snakes sure look different from our Oregon ones. Ours are striped lengthwise in yellow and green. If I saw a checkered one, I'd certainly think it was a poisonous something or other!
    Good job on the snake first aid! :-)

  3. Thanks so much for the snake lesson. I never knew garters like that existed.

  4. To further cement my place in knowing a little bit of useless information about a lot of things:

    Because you all mentioned that the garter snakes in your area look different than mine, I just had to find out how many kinds we have in the US. According to a snakey field guide by Audubon, there are 37 different kinds!
    There, now you have more ammo for the next game for Trivial Pursuit.

  5. It's interesting I read your post on this snake yesterday - and yesterday afternoon my chickens caught a red bellied snake. They killed it before I could get to them to stop them, but it was really pretty. Only about 8 inches long. My husband googled it and found that they are tiny snakes - and a full grown adult is only about 8 inches long. I took some pictures and may put them on my blog if they turned out halfway decent. I sure would rather post pictures of it alive, but you know how excited chickens get about finding something like that ;-)

  6. My kids found a garter snake on our back porch the other day. They said it was very pretty.
    Yours is strikingly (gah! no pun intended!) beautiful, too.