Nature lovers, can you help me identify this snake that is sitting in front of my door and tell me if it’s dangerous. I’m freaking out here because I have a toddler who loves playing in the grass outside.
Looks like a common garter or possibly a ribbon snake. Nonvenomous. Not aggressive. More likely to play dead than confront a threat. They might eat fish but I’m not positive.
I’m so freaked out, I’m about to play dead. Snakes, deer, owls, coyotes, what’s next, a grisly bear? A jaguar?
I was thinkint it looks like a garter snake which is harmless.
If the nature is getting to you, then remember that dogs and cats tend to work as natural wildlife repellents (dogs moreso) but that’s probably cold comfort and not your strategy of choice.
This looks like a garter snake. They are not poisonous, but they can bite if provoked.
Looks like a common Eastern Garter Snake to me (I am not a herpetologist though, so take everything I say with a grain of salt). They are very mildly venomous – only strong enough stun small prey and therefore undetectable in adult humans. I would guess also in small children, but out of an abundance of caution I’d keep her away from it. I would catch some of the smaller garter snakes as a kid because I thought they were cool and then let them go – if they tried to bite me it didn’t hurt at all. They like to live rock piles and only occasionally come out and hide in shrubs to hunt and sun themselves, so if you scare it off with a broom or something you should be fine. So she should be fine in the grass, but maybe keep her away from piles of rocks with crevasses that she could stick here hands into.
Garter snakes are generally calm and not likely to bite, even if you pet them or pick them up. There are really only 4 types of venomous snakes in the US
The link has decent pictures of each.
If you get close to a snake and it displays “threat” behaviors (hissing, rearing, curling it’s tail up) just leave it alone.
Believe me, I’m so eager to leave it alone that I locked myself in the bathroom on the top floor. I need to go to work, though, so maybe it’s time to venture outside.
Ha! Well, I did that once. I was playing in the yard with a friend as a kid. We were picking up sticks and throwing them around. I picked up a stick and it moved. We both ran inside, shut the sliding door, and screamed as we watched the harmless garter snake slither through the grass.
Just reading this story gave me tachycardia.
Not dangerous at all.
Except to my mental health.
You might consider going to a local reptile or small animal ambassador shows, particularly if they allow other people close to the animals. A lot of the time they’re organized by a local zoo–you could probably call them and ask if they have an ambassador program. These handlers know their animals well, and likely also know about local wildlife, as well. Perhaps if you got close to a snake in a controlled manner, you might not react so badly to snakes you saw in the wild? I’ve found that understanding a thing can help a lot in reducing panic and anxiety around those things.
Wow,I didn’t know that kind of thing existed.
I’m afraid of all nature, though. I kind of got used to bunnies but only if they don’t come too close. Things like butterflies, on the other hand,freak me out massively.
All the more reason to try to understand it! I don’t know about you, but a part of my autism is obsessing over things, which can cause problems if it’s something that scares me. It helps me a lot to learn about what scares me–I tend to analyze it over and over until it doesn’t have nearly the same effect as before. Animal ambassador programs exist to educate and help other people understand animals that many people are afraid of or animals about which a lot of people are misinformed — like snakes, for example, or owls and other birds of prey, or wolves and wolfdogs. The handlers are all knowledgeable and a lot of times, having other people around is helpful in bringing yourself to get close to the animal (or even touch it, in some cases). These programs are also really popular with kids.
Also, some of the programs have hedgehogs. Just as an extra incentive.
DEFINITELY a garter snake. Totally harmless, docile, won’t bother either you or Klara while you’re in the yard. All summer I’ve had a garter snake living in the bush right next to my patio door, and it minds its own business and is entertaining to watch.
You really shouldn’t disturb it. The snake will do its best to stay out of your way.
Why do people assume I’d ever want to disturb it? I feel very misunderstood.
Well, clearly some of us can’t stop ourselves from interacting with the wildlife if the opportunity presents itself. You’re probably much more rational than the lot of us 🙂
I’m still a big-city person even if I’ll never live in a city again.
Garter snake! They are very common here in Manitoba. There is actually a large den of them in Narcisse, Manitoba, that is quite famous.
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