While on the walkabout on the job this evening, I had the good fortune to see a sleek, elegant critter, resplendent in pinstripes:
The eastern garter snake (Thamnophis sirtalis) is one of the most common reptiles in the New York metro area, perhaps second to the diminutive brown snake (Storeria dekayi). The site where I ran across this beauty is a garter snake paradise- a nice mix of meadow and forest, with a small body of water. Eastern garter snakes operate as well in the water as they do on land, and take a variety of vertebrate and invertebrate prey. This particular snake is well situated.
The little critter was valiant- it coiled up as if to strike rather than fleeing when the hairless ape waved a camera in its face. I admire a little beast with moxie.