Seeing the garter snake in my garden the other day was just the start. I know that snakes are not everybody's favorite topic, but I think you might like today's short post.
You see, I saw another snake yesterday. Actually I saw three of them, and they were a type I had never seen before: prairie ring-necked snakes (Diadophis punctatus arnyi)! Easy to see how this species got its common name, right?
Unfortunately these snakes were not in my own garden, but in that of a client for which I'm building some garden structures and furniture.
The photo above shows the second of the trio, as the first moved before I could snap a photo.
Here's the third, who was less nervous than the other two:
In the title of this post I said "a little more snake", and the emphasis is really on the "little"...
...as these were baby snakes! That's my index finger for size reference. So tiny!
The prairie ring-necked snake is a small one, reaching only 10-14 inches in length (25-35cm), but these were clearly much smaller than that.
Here's where I found them:
From the Missouri Department of Conservation's page about these snakes:
This species lives in native prairies, pastures, open woods, edges of woodlands, and on dry, rocky glades. Secretive, they often use flat rocks, boards, logs, or bark slabs for shelter. Instead of regulating their body temperature by basking in the sun on top of rocks, they rest beneath sun-warmed rocks.So it makes sense that I found them underneath the top patio slab:
The slabs have a slightly uneven surface, mimicking natural rocks. The snakes were nested into the shallow depressions.
Now I'm wondering if these little snakes might be in my garden too! If not I might be able to attract them by adding a stack of large, flat rocks...
What an exciting find!