[NAFEX] Snakes in raspberries

Lon J. Rombough lonrom at hevanet.com
Fri Jun 26 11:14:41 EDT 2009

My son Chris is an expert on snakes so I asked  him.  Here's what he 

"Given the size of his snake and timing of the sighting, it's probably 
a gravid female. They often climb or crawl onto perches from which they 
can get the most sun, in order to incubate their babies. Remember, they 
give live birth. This time of year, garter snakes across all but the 
southern states are gravid, and close to giving birth. The 
well-developed embryos greatly reduce their mobility, and they are in a 
hurry to get the babies out!

The other thing is that, in addition to slugs and earthworms, garter 
snakes will eat frogs (e.g., tree frogs), lizards, mice, and selected 
insects. So it may have been chasing a prey you didn't see.

My $.02! :) "

-Lon Rombough
NEW grape pruning video: http://www.bunchgrapes.com/dvd.html View a 
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Grapes, writing, consulting, my book, The Grape Grower, at 
http://www.bunchgrapes.com  Winner of the Garden Writers Association 
"Best Talent in Writing" award for 2003.
A video about The Grape Grower : 
On Jun 26, 2009, at 7:58 AM, William C. Garthright wrote:

This is only slightly on topic - and it's not very important, at that -
but can anyone tell me what the garter snakes are doing climbing my
black raspberry canes? I doubt if they're eating the raspberries. :-)

I've got LOTS of garter snakes in the yard, and I'm always glad to see
them. But seeing a big (for a garter snake) snake three feet off the
ground in the raspberry patch yesterday was kind of surprising. What was
it doing? I thought they mostly ate earthworms, but the other day,
someone here mentioned slugs, so maybe that's what it was looking for. I
never see slugs when I'm picking raspberries (though I haven't been
looking), but I don't know what else the snake could catch there.

Just wondering - though, I guess, not enough to spend time searching
online. As I say, it's not very important, but does anyone know? I've
seen snakes climbing bushes and vines often enough, but this is the
first time I've seen one climb raspberries. I assume that they're
hunting something, though maybe it's just safer than staying on the 

OK, time to go pick raspberries again, if the snakes - or, more likely,
the birds - haven't gotten there first. :-)

Lincoln, NE (zone 5)

Never try to discourage thinking, for you are sure to succeed. -
Bertrand Russell

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