After the intensive start to my school year, things have finally calmed down thanks to a half week of classes. Taking advantage of the weather remaining unusually warm, I went for a walk along some nearby trails. With low expectations of finding snakes, I was pleasantly surprised that the first living thing I found was an Eastern Garter Snake.

Checkered Eastern Garter Snake

It is the first checkered variety of Garter Snake I have encountered and I was taken aback by its hints of a tealish blue amongst the checkering.

He was very defensive as he was in a semi-coiled position the entire time and even struck at the air a couple times.

As it calmed, I was able to get a more eye level shot which also captured its brilliant patterning.

Checkered Eastern Garter Snake

Once it realized that I was simply observing, it darted away to nearby cover. Following it to a log, I promptly overturnned the cover and handled the snake. It was not until I was looking through my photos that I realized the snake I picked up from the log (as seen below) was not in fact the same. I was too caught up in the moment to realize that it didn’t have the checkered pattern.

Eastern Garter Snake

Content having found a snake this late in the year, I began to look for salamanders. I uncovered a couple red backed salamanders but only photographed one. My goal is to photograph more so I can get some practice before the mole salamanders begin crossing roads.

Red Backed Salamander

Exploring the trail I stumbled upon one more garter.

Eastern Garter Snake

There were hints of a checkering pattern in some pictures, but there were no hints of the teal. My favorite picture of this one was the picture above as it seemed to be slightly periscoping (not nearly as much as racers are known to).

Not a bad day for late October.