Today I saw something special. A juvenile garter snake. Though it looks big in this photo it really wasn't. The diameter of its body at its thickest point was barely more than 1/4" wide. She just looks big in the photo because she remained so motionless trying to camouflage herself into the leaves I was able to get my iPhone just a couple of inches away from her to take this picture. I'm calling the snake a "her" because she was a beauty.
I've always loved snakes ever since I was a little kid. Seeing one out in the wild like this, whether in the woods or a garden, always gives me a bit of thrill. As I watched her I couldn't help but wonder why so many people are so afraid of snakes. To me they are living sculptures. Each overlapping scale, the patterns they create, and the coloration from vivid to muted are like canvases painted by nature.
If you see a garter snake please don't kill it. From insects to rodents they will catch and eat many of the pests you don't want in your yard. If you don't like them just turn and look the other way if you see one. They aren't lethally poisonous like a rattlesnake so there's no danger to you if you just leave them be :)