Monday, November 10, 2014

Mid-November Find!

As we were wrapping up the journaling part of a school program this afternoon, I looked down on the ground and saw what I thought was one of those coiled hair tie things.  When I bent over to pick it up, I saw that instead it was a wee snake!  It was coiled up on a leaf trying to eke out some warmth from the rapidly disappearing sun.

Being the snake-o-phile (ophiophilist) that I am, I, of course, had to pick it up.

It was very cold, and didn't seem to mind me holding it.  I showed it to all the kids - who thought, of course, that it was poisonous.  One said "venomous" and I congratulated him for using the correct term. I wasn't 100% sure what it was, so I brought it inside and dug out my snake book.  Still not 100% sure.  The book doesn't really show juveniles, nor belly patterns, which, on this snake, were beautiful.

Upon closer inspection and some searching online, I confirmed that it is a juvenile northern watersnake.   What was throwing me was that it was a goodly distance from actual water!  And it did look a bit like a juvenile black ratsnake, which is a species of special concern here in MI.  So naturally I tried to make that fit.

Still, a baby watersnake out in a field in November...that's still pretty exciting.