Don’t get your hopes up: we haven’t had snakes breed successfully since 2005. But this afternoon we introduced our albino male checkered garter snake to the larger of our two females, in hopes of some ophidian bouncy-bouncy. So far there is no bad news: his flick rate went through the roof and he began courtship behaviour; she, for her part, has not yet killed and eaten him. Garter snake courtship can take a while — weeks, even — so it’s too early to tell if it’s successful. And even post-copulation, it will depend on the viability of his sperm, whether she’s ovulating, and so forth. If all goes well, we should have a small litter of albino and normal checkered garters some time in the summer; the trick is that a lot of things have to go well for that to happen. Cross your fingers.