Snakes in the Garden

Snakes???  Ack!!!  (I don't like 'em - even making this page made me queasy.)

Don’t get too scared.  Very few people actually die from snake bites.  Most snakes don’t love people and will not hang around if they see you coming.  So the best advice is to stay on the trails and just be aware.  If you see a snake, just step back out of range and you should be fine.  (Remember this for your dogs on leash as well - keep ‘em close.) 

If you are bitten, call 911 or get a ride to a hospital pronto.  Keep the bite below the level of the heart and stay calm.

Prairie Rattlesnake - Crotalus viridis

Prairie Rattlesnake - Crotalus viridis - Colorado SnakesPrairie Rattlesnake
Prairie Rattlesnake - Crotalus viridis - Colorado SnakesPrairie Rattlesnake

Prairie Rattlesnake - Crotalus viridis

Size: up to about 3.5'.

Coloring:  Light brown with patches of dark brown. 

The Prairie Rattler has a distinctive triangle shaped head.  These guys can be seen in the garden in the brush off the sidewalk and in crevices of rocks.  They will defend themselves when threatened and will usually give warning with their rattles.

Bull Snake - Pituophis catenifer sayi

Bull Snake - Pituophis catenifer sayi - Colorado SnakesBull Snake
Bull Snake - Pituophis catenifer sayi - Colorado SnakesBull Snake

Bull Snake - Pituophis catenifer sayi

Size:  4 to 6'  This guy is one of the longest snakes around.  He can reach up to 8 feet.

Coloring: Yellow/brown with black or rust markings.

These guys do a great rattler impersonation, they’ll even shake their tails as if they had rattles.  But these guys are harmless and occasionally eat rattlesnakes.  When in doubt, be safe and treat him as a rattler.

Rattlesnake  & Bull Snake:  Differences

Plains Garter Snake - Thamnophis radix

Plains Garter Snake - Thamnophis radix - Colorado SnakesPlains Garter Snake
Plains Garter Snake - Thamnophis radix - Colorado SnakesPlains Garter Snake

Plains Garter Snake - Thamnophis radix

Size: up to 3 feet long.

Coloring:  This guy has an orange or yellow stripe from head to tail.

He likes streams and ponds but can be found in the Garden.  He has a mild venom that his not toxic to humans. 

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