Thamnophis marcianus — Checkered Gartersnake
Subspecies I've seen:
T. m. marcianus
Marcy’s Checkered Gartersnake
Thamnophis marcianus marcianus — Marcy’s Checkered Gartersnake
After a slow night of road cruising on a bone-dry August night (where, oh where, were the monsoon rains?), we spotted this venerable Methuselah of a gartersnake in our headlights. This was one angry snake, and despite being a measly Thamnophis, it was the sort of snake that one didn't really want to mess with.
This, my second-ever Checkered Gartersnake, was considerably less angry than my first. It did express its gratitude at me saving it from being run over on the road in the standard gartersnake way (excreting a noxious-smelling slime on my hands), but other than that it was perfectly charming.
This snake was doing its best Loch Ness Monster impression for just a moment. It quickly turned tail and fled, and I wasn't in the mood to get smelly gartersnake musk all over me so I just let it go.
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