Posted by: Anne Murray | March 27, 2015

Getting up close with B.C. snakes

After the excitement of the Boundary Bay hibernaculum, I looked out a few photos I have taken of B.C. snakes in the past. This first one is, I am pretty sure, the Common Garter Snake:

common garter snake am

The next two photos show a snake that was getting ready to hibernate last fall. It was really taking its time to cross the dyke at Boundary Bay and did not show any agitation when approached closely and photographed in full detail. Despite that, I am not quite sure of the species, so would appreciate any ideas. I think it is a Common Garter Snake, but a darker coloured one than the one above.

Western gartersnake BB 2014 3

Western gartersnake BB 2014 1

I took these two photos of a Rattlesnake in the South Okanagan, a couple of years ago, while counting birds for the BC Breeding Bird Atlas. It was very well-camouflaged in the grass at the base of a rock. I nearly didn’t see it when sitting down on an adjacent rock. There is its rattle at the end of the tail, on the top photo.

Rattlesnake, Okanagan




  1. Hello Anne, and thank you for your article on Garter Snakes. You may be interested in the article that our Young Naturalists’ Club recently published on the snakes in our school yard on page 9:

    Perhaps we could invite you to our club to compare notes sometime!

    • Excellent article by Bronson, Kiernan and Frazier! I would love to come and visit your club or maybe go on a nature walk together in the summer. Stay in touch 🙂

  2. Hello Anne,

    I am contacting you on behalf of our local school, U-Hill Elementary, to invite you to our Earth Day BBQ on April 22nd from 5-7 pm. 

    I know that it is presumptuous of us to think that you might be available on this date, but on the off chance that you are, you would be most welcome to join us and a couple hundred of our community families while we celebrate our environment. We would love to share our garter snake Hibernaculum and riparian areas with you and exchange knowledge and ideas. If you like, you could be included in our community area and have a table to sell some of your nature books. 

    Please click on this link to see pictures from our first Earth Day BBQ (‎

    In case this event can’t work into your schedule, perhaps you could consider joining our Young Naturalist Club one Tuesday afternoon in May. We would love to meet you. 

    Thank you for considering our request. 

    Nancy Brown
    U-Hill YNC Coordinator
    778 238 8605‎

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