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Speaking of Nature

Most snakes are harmless, interesting additions to garden

I found this garter snake rustling through the leaves on the forest floor in early spring. The snake froze in place and I got within a foot of it to take this photo.
Photographer: Bill Danielson
I found this garter snake rustling through the leaves on the forest floor in early spring. The snake froze in place and I got within a foot of it to take this photo.
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With the arrival of warm weather, it is likely that gardeners and yard workers may soon come into contact with snakes. I am writing this week’s column on behalf of the snakes and asking that you who see them give them the benefit of the doubt before grabbing a shovel. Roughly 80 percent of Earth’s 2,700 species of snakes (that’s 2,160 species) belong to one giant family: the Colubridae. These snakes are not venomous and ...

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