Saturday, May 30, 2009

Robin, Garter Snakes, and a Pigeon

I decided to post some pics from today, and put a link on Camera Critters.  If you click on the photos, they will enlarge.

I had my camera ready when I saw this robin at the bird bath.

It looked up at me as if to say it wanted fresh water.

It flew to a feeder a few feet from the bird bath, and I was pleased when I saw the squirrel that lives in our tree hanging out in the neighbor's yard behind where the bird landed.

And, as I'm snapping pics, the robin is saying, "I'm waiting for that water!"

I was already planning on posting for camera critters when I took the robin photos, because Larry and I had come upon a whole bunch of garter snakes in the bush hedge in front of the house.   Can you see this one peeking out?  It was on the west side of the bushes, but most of them went out on the east side.  (I don't think they all came out, though.)  Dang, I forgot to include the photo of the snake on the porch steps.

I think we scared them by our presence and talking.  I don't know how many stayed in the bushes, but at least 6 of them came out of the hedge, and we could hear rustling in there.

Most came out at the side, but this one was on top.

This photo shows that the snakes headed toward the flower bed, disappearing in the flowers. The water faucet is a couple feet from the corner of the house, and can be seen in the photo.  While I am not afraid, it's a weird feeling reaching into the area to turn the water on and off.  I've been tapping the bushes with a trowel to announce my presence.

Anyone who is afraid of snakes does not need to fear garter snakes.  We were pretty close to them, and none chose to be aggressive in any way toward us.  I just feel bad for staying there taking pictures, breaking up what may have been their mating.  That's what Larry thought they were doing.  I had trouble learning much about them, but found an Omaha World Herald article you can read about garter snakes being the gardener's friend.

Oh, and there is my shadow.  I tried to avoid that, but I needed to hurry, because the snakes were not stopping to pose.

These 2 came out together.

Later in the day, I was surprised to see what I am pretty sure is a pigeon, eating something in the street.  It saw me, but let me take a bunch of pictures of it.  I thought it had pretty colors.

I turned most of my compost this evening, looking to see if any snakes were there, like they have been in the past, but I didn't find any.  Our 30 year old son, who has loved reptiles since he was a child, was disappointed he missed seeing the snakes, and went around the places he usually looks for them, like the window wells and under rocks, but they were not to be seen this evening.  Maybe they were under the deck.

Oh, for the critter lovers, scroll down to see my latest Wordless Wednesday post, or click on the Wildlife in the Corner Garden link in the sidebar.

Click here to see a whole bunch more Camera Critters, or to see how to link up your post.


  1. Hi Sue~~ Don't care for those snakes. I know, I know...they're harmless and eat bugs but these facts don't over ride my disdain.

    My garden buddy Carol and I were at a local nursery today and saw a really tame robin. It would fly to several places not far from people and seemed almost tame. And it sang!

  2. OOOh it sounds like a bad dream all those snakes.

  3. Sue! Are you insane? I would have hurt myself getting away from those snakes!!!

  4. LOL Part of the reason I did this post was to help people be less afraid of or repulsed by snakes. They really are good for the environment. Check out the link to the newspaper article.

  5. Your words "a whole bunch of garter snakes" gave me the creeps even though I'm aware of how useful snakes can be. And may I say, you have a much better looking bird bath than my cheap plastic one.

  6. Sue: What neat photos of all the critters. I don't like snakes and a Garter Snake can become agrressive so be careful. They can bite and it will hurt.

  7. your header is so inviting as is the entire blog

  8. Yesterday as I was pulling weeds and planting a few perennials I had bought at a sale, I was fascinated to see mother Robin come along behind me, picking up the worms and bugs I had disturbed, so she could feed her family, in the nest she has built near my vegetable garden. I so love to watch the birds and critters in my garden. I have not seen any garter snakes yet this year.

  9. I think you are very brave anyway.I am terrified of snakes.Beautiful photos!!

  10. That's a whole passel of snakes! Good to have in the garden if you ask me. :) It's funny, as many snakes as we have here on our farm, I'm not sure I've seen Garter Snakes.

  11. I remember my sister and I catching garter snakes when we were younger. I live close to where I grew up, but we never see them anymore. It's funny seeing so many come out of a shrub like that.

  12. I was amazed by Your squirrel & robin moment, wishing for a house and garden with a bird bath and then came the snakes... brrr. Still a lovely post;)

  13. Yikes! I know Garter Snakes are harmless, but I would still be freaked out by so many--and so big! Do you have cats or dogs? I've heard snakes stay away from them.

  14. These are some cool CC photos !

    Don't know about the snakes, though ! I know Garter snakes are relatively harmless .. but I don't think I could take knowing that they were in the bushes, etc.

    I'm originally from New Zealand, where there are NO snakes, not even in the zoos..

  15. I'm not fond of snakes either, even if they are harmless. We have harmless black snakes, and it's a toss up as to who runs away fastest the snake or me, when I see them. We have found their skins around too after they have shed them.

    Love your robin pictures and it's nice you got to see a pigeon. There are a lot of them around the area here.


  16. Oh My My, Sue, you really are brave. I didn't get that close to a snake...if I know it is there.
    Prayers, Bo

  17. EEEEKKKKK I don't like snakes...I would have been running the other direction... nice photos though...

  18. Wow! It's not that I hate snakes but I love watching them from a distance. Since I'm a completely city-bred idiot, it takes time for me to accept that the so-called wildlife after all aren't harmful. Great photos, Sue. I love that of the Robin looking up at you. BTW, did you change the water for him/her? :D
    And yes, that is a pigeon - they fly in fifties and sometimes hundreds here!

  19. I am late replying to this, but Fishing Guy mentioned garter snakes can be aggressive. My son who is an 'expert' said the garter snakes here are different from where he lives, and are not aggressive.

    We've lived here 11 years, and the snakes were here before we were. Whenever I've come across them, such as turning the compost, they go the other direction. Once, there was one in the yard, and it laid perfectly still until I went in for my camera, and when I got back out it was nowhere in sight.


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