Happy New Year!
Today begins the Year of the Snake in the Chinese Zodiac, pushing out the Dragon of last year. This 2013 year of Snake is meant for steady progress and attention to detail. Ancient Chinese wisdom says a Snake in the house is a good omen because it means that your family will not starve. Do you suppose they mean a real snake or a person born in the year of the snake?
There are 11 species of snakes that are native to New Hampshire. Some of these species, such as the garter snake are common and widespread across the state. Other species like the timber rattlesnake are extremely rare and are now state protected. The timber rattlesnake is the only venomous one.
Garter snakes, like all snakes, are carnivorous. They are good to have in the yard because they eat garden destroying varmints. Their diets consist of almost any creature they are capable of overpowering – slugs, earthworms, leeches, lizards, amphibians, ants, frog eggs, toads, and rodents, all of which they swallow whole. Garter snakes adapt to eating whatever they can find, and whenever, because food may be scarce. This is not true in my yard, as there are about 5 million slugs there.