Got home from my trip to town for caffeine and my dad was in the yard. Apparently one of our pets was seen keenly following something, and it turned out to be this little one!
Based on the positioning of the side stripe, it appears to be a young Plains Garter. Didn’t want to be captured by the scary giant, it tried striking me the whole time. A quick once-over for damage (none), before I snapped some photos, then moved it to a safe location under something where it could not be followed. I definitely reek to high heaven of pungent musk despite repeated scrubbing, but worth it to get to hold this spitfire!
What a beauty! Worth the musk for sure!
It was a fat little one, too, so definitely healthy and thriving out here! The weather is beautiful today, unseasonably warm, so my guess is we were out pre-brumation hunting.
Awwwwwwww. What a lovely little guy! I don’t know how these pretty little guys can be so stinky! My milk has just lately quit musking me!
Great save @noodlehaus Jess!
I know the perfume “ode d garter” well! Great catch! along with the wondering garter the most prevalent is the plains where I live too!
I will say, I swear somehow wild garter musk is more pungent and persistent than that of captive garters. While I haven’t been musked on by my checkereds in a while, I do remember it would dissipate after a single wash. Post-handling of this little one I had to wash 3-4 times and even then there was still that faint stank going on if you got close.
Well the only reason I can come up with is that the pungency is stronger in animals in the wild because that’s just it. They are in the wild. Maybe it’s nature’s way of double protection. Maybe by captive breeding the process somehow dilutes the scent.
That’s my story and I’m sticking to it! Lol!
My guess would be that it has more to do with the varied diet they have in the wild influencing the chemical composition of the musk. Either way, one of my least favorite reptilian bodily excretions.
I don’t know I kinda like that sickly sweet smell! Reminds me of catching them every summer when I was a kid! Who knew nostalgia could stink so good! (yeah I know I’m weird!)
I was doing what I hope to be one of the last yard mowings of the season last weekend and saw a snake sunning near my shed. I moved in for the grab and saw it was an eastern garter and immediately backed off. At this stage in my life I just don’t pick them up any more unless I need to move one to safety. They are just too darn stinky for me!
I will fully support my kids picking them up and having to run for the dish soap to follow in my childhood footsteps
I live on a farm and never see as many snakes as people who go randomly herping ha-ha.
What a cutie though!