Wild - - CONTENTS - Il­lus­tra­tion by Ash­ley Bar­ron

Create a win­ter home for snakes

There are 25 snake species here in Canada, from the Com­mon Garter Snake to the East­ern Hog-nosed Snake. Find­ing a snake in your back­yard dur­ing the sum­mer is a re­ally good sign, But when the tem­per­a­tures dip, they need a dif­fer­ent spot to make it through the cold months. That’s where you come in. Snakes are happy to eat gar­den pests do like grubs and slugs. So if you can your any­thing to wel­come them to the back­yard, you re­ally should! In bask sum­mer, they’ll need a spot to hide in the sun and an­other area to or away from preda­tors (like a brush rock pile). But when the tem­per­a­tures to dip, they need a dif­fer­ent spot make it through the cold months. That’s where you come in. If you’re lucky enough to have a huge back­yard, create fol­low the in­struc­tions to a spot for snakes to hi­ber­nate over keep the win­ter. Bonus points if you will it year af­ter year, be­cause snakes of­ten re­turn to the same hi­ber­na­tion site. Ready? Let’s dig in!

Fol­low these steps

1. Search your back­yard for siz­able holes. You’re look­ing for a dry hole in the sun — if you find a hole with wa­ter in it, it won’t pass the cut, be­cause all that wa­ter will just turn to ice in the win­ter. If you can’t find a hole, you might need an adult to put some mus­cle into dig­ging one! The hole should be about two me­tres deep and 1.5 me­tres wide. 2. Start to fill the hole with logs, branches, leaves, rocks of dif­fer­ent sizes and soil. You don’t want to pack it down and make it too hard for a snake to slither in. Just fill the hole loosely with these items so snakes can find nooks and cran­nies to hide out for the win­ter. 3. Now it’s time to cover up the hole! Pile on the leaves, brush and a bit more soil to be about one me­tre above the ground. This will help snakes hide away from preda­tors and keep these cold-blooded crit­ters warm.a

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