Eastern Garter Snake - Snakes in Sutton Massachusetts


The Eastern Garter Snake or Thamnophis sirtalis sirtalis is a common snake found in Massachusetts. It's the Massachusetts state reptile! It has a variety of colors it comes in, but most typical is a light brown base, with a light brown stripe down its top, and a darker brown checkerboard pattern on either side of that stripe. The head of the eastern garter snake is fairly narrow.

Eastern garter snakes are completely harmless and are often seen basking in the sun near a garden or stream. I took these photos in late May at the Blackstone National Golf Course in Sutton, where the garter snake was relaxing on the warm cart path. I later saw two more garter snakes in the grass near another part of the cart path. So if you're in the mood to see some beautiful garter snakes, a trip to the golf course in the summer is a good way to do it.

Eastern garter snakes are quite helpful - they eat mice! If you have a mice problem near your home, it might be time to call in some snake friends to give you a hand.

They can grow up to four feet long but I typically see them in the two foot range. They can live up to ten years, hibernate in the winter, and give birth to live young. The name "Garter Snake" comes from the stripe, which makes it look like a ribbon. A garter is a ribbon that women wore years ago to hold their stockings up.



Eastern Garter Snake

Eastern Garter Snake

Eastern Garter Snake

Eastern Garter Snake

Eastern Garter Snake

Eastern Garter Snake

Eastern Garter Snake

Eastern Garter Snake

Eastern Garter Snake

Eastern Garter Snake

Be kind to your eastern garter snake friends!

Snakes in Sutton Massachusetts
Animals and Birds in Sutton Massachusetts

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