I just wanted a picture of a garter snake. I had a beautiful snake present itself to me once, its yellow and orange stripes practically glowing on a glossy dark background. I even had a camera in my hand, but the neighbor's dog scared it away just before I got the shot.
Awesome Husband was so charmed by my "artist's rendition" at the end of that post, he re-created it in neon, and hung it in the garage for my birthday. Every time I drive in, the neon snake lights up to greet me.
Still, I mourned the lost photograph.
I got my chance a few days ago, while refilling the goats' water bowls. As I bent over one of them, I saw a tiny cricket frog that seemed to have one leg stuck beneath the bowl. "Poor thing," I thought, and lifted the bowl to let it hop away, but it didn't move. Something long and very thin was stuck to its leg, keeping it from moving.
My brain needed a moment to process what I was seeing. A very small snake was coiled under the water bowl. The snake, not the dish, was keeping the frog from hopping away. When I removed his hiding place, he slithered over against the shed wall, frantically trying to escape and swallow his meal simultaneously. I think the snake is a Western Ribbon Snake (Thamnophis proximus proximus), a very slender member of the Garter Snake clan.