Saturday January 3rd was a beautiful day with sun and temperatures just above freezing. I decided to go outside to cut the branches off the Christmas tree so that I can use them for winter protection for the strawberries - once some of the snow has melted to reveal exactly where the plants are.
Our westie Hansen was sniffing around and suddenly started barking at something on the ground on top of a berm a few meters away from me. As I went over to check it - somehow I was thinking snake as I, many times during the summer and also late fall, had seen garter snakes there - I was surprised indeed, to find a curled up garter snake.
To help it (don't know it's sex) warm up enough to move back to the hibernation den we placed it on some black plastic close to where we had found it.
As the temperature was falling I went out to check on Icicle (thought that was a good name) and now it had moved down into deep snow and shade.
Now very stiff and the mouth full of snow there was only little signs of life. What to do?
We decided to try to artificially hibernate Icicle in our cold but frost free garage until spring. Nestled in a bucket with a small container with water and a black upside-down plant saucer with a hole at the base to hide under, we hope that he'll be fine. There is lots of life now although - as a hibernating snake should be - he is very slow.
Well, the Christmas tree is still waiting for it's second chance to serve........