I promised yesterday that I would begin to show you some of the wildlife, and a few other things, I found at the new nature preserve I just visited. Since I was assuming that I wouldn't find any life out there, I was really surprised at one of the very first things I saw.
Just before I was about to go around a corner on the trail, I saw something move very slightly in the distance in front of me. When I focused my eyes to the shape in the woods, I was startled to discover that it was a lone deer! Deer were one of the last things I expected to see out here, but I should have known better.
There is something I've been wondering. Why do deer think that a little tree can hide them? I don't know why I ask that, because it does seem to work. As I began to slowly look around, I discovered that, as usual, there was actually a whole herd of them, each one hidden behind their own little trees.
As I continued to watch the deer, I noticed the sound of rustling leaves right behind me. It was the sound of the movement of an animal. I didn't want to look away from the deer, but whatever was moving back there was very close to me. I had to tear my eyes away from the deer, and turn around to look.
What did I find back there behind me? As you can see in the picture, it was this pretty good sized garter snake. The camera actually saw the snake better than I did. I just happened to get lucky and photograph most of the snake.
When I turned around to look, the snake moved again. All I saw was the movement of the leaves over the top of this sneaky little beast. I knew right away that there was a snake there. I had to concentrate to see it at all. I thought it was in a slightly different place than where I found it.
I would swear that there might have been more than one of them. I first thought I saw one about six inches above this one. It was very hard to see in these leaves. The camera picked it up rather well. This snake was less than two feet away from me. Too close for me!
This is only a relatively harmless garter snake, but any snake can bite. This one was also over two feet long, which can be a little scary for anyone who is as close to a snake as I was. Even so, I took a closer shot so anyone could see the pattern a little better.
This section in the last picture is the only part I really saw with my eyes anyway. I never saw the head until I got home and looked at the picture. I'm surprised it didn't slither away. Maybe it thought it was hidden well enough. Or maybe it wanted a white rat for lunch! Just joking, I hope.
I must have been a little nervous around it, because I only got two photos of this little garter snake before I moved away. Later on the trail, I saw the same rustling of the leaves more than three other times. This nature preserve is literally crawling with snakes!