by Carl Strang
In my 3+ years at Mayslake Forest Preserve I have not found many snakes. Others have seen brown snakes, and I would not be surprised if there are a few fox snakes, but the ones I have seen so far all have been Chicago garter snakes. Last week I photographed the second that has given me more than the flash of a lengthy body disappearing into the grass.
Comparing it to photos of the first snake, from the fall of 2010, I see clear differences in the pattern of the side spots and other colors.
Most of the garter snakes I have seen early or late in the season, at Mayslake or elsewhere, have been near marshes, leaving me wondering if they tend to hibernate in such areas in DuPage County. In time, as I build a gallery of garter snake photos, I may be able to get a sense of how many of them are on the preserve.