Garter Snake Gallery

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.

The Chicago garter snake is a subspecies of the eastern garter snake. It is distinguished by black spots or bars that interrupt the side stripes near the head.

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.

Apart from the details of spots, the overall impression was that the 2010 snake was paler than the 2012 one.

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.

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1 Comment

  1. September 21, 2012 at 4:52 pm

    Reblogged this on Animal Lovers' Blog.


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