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Thread: New Member here. Bad day for Wild Plains Garter Momma

  1. #1
    Hi, I'm New Here!
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    New Member here. Bad day for Wild Plains Garter Momma

    Hey, I'm super new here. (not even sure if this is the right place to post this.)

    I got interested in Garter Snakes after I bought a little house in a small town just north of Ames Iowa. There is a family of Plains Garters that live in various spots around my house and yard depending on the season. I love watching them, checking on them and even leave food and water for them. Unfortunately, I also cut the grass. :-(

    It seems like every summer I run over one or two despite walking the yard to attempt to flush them out. (Ive been successful at chasing a couple out of the mower path.)


    These snakes have lived here next to my house and in my yard for as long as I've lived here. (Three years.) I love em and encourage their presence. I think they are so fascinating.


    I've been hoping the family would have babies and suspected at least one of the females was gravid. Unfortunately, Momma is the snake I hit today. I feel horrible!!! Her babies were spilled out on the grass with no signs of live at all. (nearly full term .. I thought they were
    earthworms at first.)

    I feel horrible! I'm afraid I've decimated the family and I won't see them again.

    They have been wintering under the concrete stoop by my side door and spend spring under a couple of bags of mulch I placed by the foundation wall a couple years ago. I think they spend most of the summer underground in the decaying root ball of a tree that has been dead for years. That burrow is next to a Hosta garden I've revived under a big Hackberry tree. They like to hang out by the neighbor's fence at the north end of the yard in the sun. The neighbor kids are scarred of them and their Dad will kill them.

    I guess I really don't have any questions or even a point to this post other than to say how horrible I feel. I was really looking forward to a herd of baby garters running wild this fall.

  2. #2
    Forum Moderator Boots's Avatar
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    Re: New Member here. Bad day for Wild Plains Garter Momma

    Welcome to the community. Sorry to hear about the accident. Like anything it happens from time to time and while we try to avoid them, they are curious themselves.

    My friend had the same issue with her house as they loved the radiant heating she had and would stay under her deck against the house. Hopefully things will work out. Best you can do now is bury the snake.

    Jason
    guidofatherof5 and DaBaum like this.
    0.1 Thamnophis Sirtalis Tetrataenia - deceased

  3. #3
    Hi, I'm New Here!
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    Re: New Member here. Bad day for Wild Plains Garter Momma

    Well, one week later and I had all but given up hope of having the family of Garters still living in my yard

    But I just found a (I believe) a very fresh skin by the concrete stoop.
    The shed was still very soft, fully intact and clearly from an adult.
    If it's soft and very flexible, it must be fresh, right?

    I had been working all day close to that area and even staged tools (chainsaw) on that stoop.
    I didn't notice the shed then.
    I wonder if this individual snake hasn't already moved back to the stoop.
    Its gotta be cool there up against the foundation wall.

    Either way, I'm so happy to still have Garter Yard-mates.

  4. #4
    T. radix Ranch guidofatherof5's Avatar
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    Re: New Member here. Bad day for Wild Plains Garter Momma

    It happens, I've been where you are at. Same situation, I had to euthanize mom quickly. I still feel bad about the whole thing. That was 15 years ago.

    DaBaum likes this.
    Steve
    5 awesome kids!
    Emmy, Kale, Molly, Gabby, Hailee
    They are not just snakes. They're garter snakes.
    http://www.youtube.com/user/thamnophis14?feature=mhee

  5. #5
    Hi, I'm New Here!
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    Re: New Member here. Bad day for Wild Plains Garter Momma

    The Momma snake that I hit last week needed no euthanizing. She was clearly expired, and there was no sign of life from the babies (at least three of them.)
    .
    On the positive side, I've just confirmed that an adult is back living under the concrete stoop at the side of the house. "She" was out basking on a cinder-block next to the steps. She didn't let me get very close but she sure looked very dark with bright yellow stripes.

    I ordered some pinkies to feed her and will get a flat tub to put water out for her.

    I love having these snakes around They are so beautiful and fascinating.
    guidofatherof5 likes this.

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