I got my hair cut this morning. The shop where my cutter works is only a few blocks from the ponds where my wife and I caught the picture of the Hooded Mergansers I posted a few weeks ago. There is a street over the creek near there, and I hoped to catch a glimpse of the ponds from the walkway.
I was disappointed: no signs of birds from that location. But as I walked back to my car I happened to look down and see a telltale sinuous pattern in fresh bark mulch next to the sidewalk. A small garter snake was sunning itself among the dark chips. After the last few days of rain I guess it needed a solar recharge.
I fished out my phone and snapped a picture. I couldn’t resist giving it a poke so I turned on the video. It was quite sluggish, but it managed to stretch out and move away a little. It was so close to the sidewalk I wondered what would happen if an ornery cat or something came by. I picked the snake up with one hand, and it did a good impression of a limp noodle. I carried it up-slope a few feet and put it at the base of an Oregon Grape. It was a beautiful morning; I hope it went well for the little snake.