One of the kids who came into the office today tells us that he picked up a snake this morning! He was pretty pleased with himself.
I think that's one of the earliest signs of Spring...the return of the cold-blooded creatures. Back in Missouri, we had several poisonous varieties, but here in Western Washington the only snake I've seen is the harmless Garter Snake (Thamnophis sirtalis). The one in the photo is from a couple of years ago, and is held by my friend Kate. While I don't scream or run, I find I don't enjoy holding reptiles much. Unlike the youngster we spoke to today, I'd rather not catch them.
My Mom is terrified of snakes, and 0ne of my earliest memories is of watching her juggle a basket of wet laundry while a garter snake - much like this one - ran between her feet. She never did make it to the clothes line in the back yard with that load of laundry! I felt like I'd accomplished something big the first time I touched one. And I have held one for a moment. I just prefer my pets to have fur and be warm-blooded.