Eastern Garter Snake-Thamnophis sirtalis sirtalis
I’ve been bringing the camera out with me when working in the yard and it came in handy yesterday afternoon. Previously I had used my phone for a few snake shots but this time around I was thinking more of the spiders that hang out in the wood so had something more substantial.
Actually I did not hear a hissing, which generally is to keep at a distance from what might seem dangerous, and assume the snake really did not feel all that threatened by the camera although at some point it decided to get a taste of my presence.
Snakes have a special organ in their mouth, the Jacobson’s organ, that “smells” by way of chemicals captured from the air with their tongues. I had to stand there for a patient while until this one got curious enough about me to take a “sniff”. They don’t use their nostrils for smell but to breathe while swallowing a big meal that can take just a bit longer than we do. Humans don’t breath while eating but obviously a snake can’t wait until swallowing is done so this division of labor works well for them.