Garter Snake


18"-52" long, is highly variable in coloration but typically dark with three stripes along back and sides.  Sometimes red blotches or black spots are present between the stripes.  This is the most widely distributed snake in North America, living throughout southern Canada and most of the U.S. except for the desert southwest, with a variety of subspecies.  Tends to live near water, but in a variety of open or wooded habitats.  Active during the day, and often seen in moist vegetation while hunting for frogs, salamanders, earthworms, and the occassional fish or rodent.  Tolerates cold extremely well and is known to freeze solid; often hibernates in communal dens.  Often bites when first captured but tames quickly.