Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Garter snake rescue

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........


  1. oh I think I've found a new blog to explore! Your place looks so much like mine!!!
    I really love the fact that you are going to try to help this sweet creature. I hope it lives. I just can't imagine finding a snake in the winter. Well, good for you. Ok now I'm off to reading your blog...and I love Salix....gonna get me some some day!

  2. Thanks Eve for visiting and your kind comment.
    I've followed some blogs recently - including yours - and am just taking my first baby steps in the art of blogging.
    Hope you'll get some willows some day - maybe my future blogs will inspire you to get some.

  3. Wow, you're lucky your dog left it alone. Mine tends to hunt snakes (in the summer, of course), and feel bad when he get one. A good thing there aren't rattlers where we live.

    Good luck with your blog. Cheers, Yvonne


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