Happy St. Patrick's Day! Here is a nice sign of spring approaching even though we had a dusting of snow yesterday. The moss is brightening along the woodland pools, swamps, and ponds in the Sanctuary. It is very pronounced amongst the background of the still dank and dark leaves of winter.
Fortunately (in my opinion) St. Patrick did not live here, so we have a variety of snake species on the Sanctuary. All of them are beneficial, including this beauty. Garter snakes have always lived in the gardens here and we welcome them. They help control damaging insects and rodents. We do sometimes scare each other as I am walking by and they slither away in the dry leaf mulch. I jump, startled at the sound and movement in the corner of my eye.
You may have guessed that St. Patrick did not really charm all those snakes into the ocean. Does anyone know the real reason snakes disappeared from Ireland long before St. Patrick arrived?
-Steve Ricker, Resident Director