“A is for alligator lizards … sunning themselves on the slopes of Goat Mountain.” (from Forest Alphabet …), loving the heat of rocky bluffs or even warm, dry places in your garden.
S is for garter snakes … our great garden helper and beach hunter, quite harmless and fascinating to children.
Cool snake facts:
Did you know that we have 3 species of garter snakes on Cortes – the Western Terrestrial Garter Snake is often darker in colouration and can show more aggressive behavior than the shyer Common Garter Snake found in our gardens? The third lesser known is the Northwestern Garter Snake, which was verified in the southern Gorge Harbour area some years ago, and can easily be confused with the Common Garter Snake.
The Western Terrestrial Garter Snake, also found on Mitlenatch Island, is one of the largest garter snakes in BC and can be one metre long. You may have seen them swimming in tidal pools searching for sculpins and blennies.
Cool alligator lizard facts:
Alligator lizards can deliberately drop their tail under stress, which may take several months for a refit of their tail.
These intriguing lizards are usually found within 30 metres of a spot they most enjoy, their own special 'sit spot'.
Alligator lizards commonly eat large spiders & insects while trying to avoid being eaten by snakes & cats.
You can find a wealth of fantastic information on snakes and lizards at https://www.bcreptiles.ca
This week’s Children’s Forest nature activity is a look at these 2 marvelous creatures. Children are being encouraged to go sleuthing for snakes & lizards, and to turn on their visual observation senses to note and record what they see and where they are found.
Thank you to Christian & Liam for their input & verification of the ‘cool facts’.
The Children’s Forest Trust would like to extend a special thanks to Desta for the great collaboration with the CCHA Family Support Group and to Seren for co-hosting the zoom chats and providing curriculum ideas & feedback.
“Imagine … a forest in trust to the children...”
A baby alligator, carefully held. Photo by Christian.