Today was a beautiful day in the Great Lakes region of Mid-Michigan. Temperatures were around 75 degrees Fahrenheit and the sun was shining bright. It was a great day for us to get out and do some much needed backyard cleanup. The birdfeeding area really needed to be cleaned and raked. We also cleaned all of the bird feeders and put out some fresh seed. Steve also picked up after Quincy, our basset hound.
We were outside at about noon and right away I spotted the tiny snake slithering across the backyard. He was moving pretty quickly, so I’m sure that he was enjoying the unseasonably warm weather. The snake ended up near the side door of the house, between the house and the sidewalk. The dog, Quincy basically had zero interest in the snake. Steve and I thought this was a great time to try and get some pictures. Here is a picture we took of the garter snake while it was by the house. It had curled up into a tight ball with just its tiny head poking out from between the knots of its body. I wish that we had a little better camera for taking wildlife photos in the backyard, this would have been a great shot to get. Steve rustled it a little and it moved enough for us to get this shot.
Steve and I decided that for its own safety we should move the snake out of the way of traffic. So, he picked him up and we moved him over to the area near the driveway. There is a little cement pad that is raised up. The terrain in that area is very wooded with many rocks. We got a few more pictures of the snake after we released him into the rocky area in full sun.
While I was glad to see the snake, I’m wondering if this will turn out to be a good year for snakes and a bad year for toads. They generally come in cycles. I love to see the snakes, but I am really hoping to get some toad research started this spring and summer.
It was really great to get the bird area cleaned up. We also soaked all of the feeders and scrubbed them clean before refilling them. We also dug out the Baltimore Oriole feeder and Ruby Throated hummingbird feeders. I’ll get those put out next week in preparation for the spring arrivals.
Overall, we had a very productive day and are hoping for more of the same tomorrow. Good luck on your spring projects!
In the comments, feel free to share methods that you use for cleaning your bird feeders and also the frequency that you clean your feeders. We probably are too relaxed about it through the winter. It is difficult to get out there and really soak and scrub them. What do you do for spring cleaning projects in your backyard?