Herps (reptiles and amphibians)

The seventies and eighties are behind us, for now. It’s back to more normal temps, forties and fifties. But, while the atypically high temps lasted, I was able to find some out and about reptiles and amphibians. It’s not unusual to see a brown snake in winter unless the temps are extreme, on the low side. I saw the northern brown snake, or Dekay’s brown snake, pictured here slowly making its way across the path just uphill from the LemurRead more

What’s Going On Outside

If you’re walking the paths on a regular basis here at the Museum, you’re likely to see all manner of creature, winter, spring, summer, or fall. All of the creatures pictured below were photographed within the last few weeks. Brown snakes are common in this area. They attain lengths of approximately 12 inches, although the record is just over 19 inches. The individual in the photos above and below is a young one and is 6 to 7 inches. It wasRead more

Just Add Heat!

All it took was a bit of warm sunshine and all of the critters came crawling out of the mud and from under logs, rocks and the leaf litter. The amphibians and reptiles made the news this week with new arrivals and increased numbers of previously seen species. Although I’d seen several Brown Snakes earlier in the season, the snake in the photo was the first one I’ve seen alive and making its way across the path here at the Museum.Read more

Snakes and Skinks

Not the first of the season but the first photographed were a Brown Snake (Storeria dekayi) and Ground Skink (Scinella lateralis) on Friday, the 16th day of March. March is when we start seeing these gentle little snakes (this one’s about 9 inches long). I’d seen at least two in the weeks prior to this photo being taken. Unfortunately for the snakes, both were being carried off by a Red-shouldered Hawk. Likewise with the snake, I had seen a skinkRead more

A Lady, a Snake, and a Late Bloomer

An American Lady (Venessa Virginiensis) was spotted in the aster patch in Catch the Wind yesterday (11/3). In fact, there were several butterfly species and both bumble and honey bees working the tiny asters. An Eastern Garter Snake (Thamnophis sirtalis) was seen slowly crossing the path in Explore the Wild near the Red Wolf Exhibit. The cool shade of the path made this snake’s movements rather sluggish. It appeared to be heading for its winter quarters and was seen aboutRead more

Snakes!

I’ve seen three snakes since last Saturday (10/23), a Black Rat Snake, a Northern Water Snake, and a Brown Snake. The rat snake was on an overturned stump near the head of the Dinosaur Trail on Saturday. It was still there Wednesday (10/27). The water snake was on the path next to the Wetlands Overlook. It was a young snake, about 9 inches in length. I didn’t have my camera strapped to my hip as usual, so I hurried off toRead more

Snakes!

March 10th was the day! A little after noon I spotted the first-of-the-season Northern Water Snake coiled up under a Baldcypress at the bottom of the boardwalk in the Wetlands. The same day, Lead Animal Keeper Kristen spied a Copperhead along the path in Explore the Wild. And today, Lead Horticulturists Joe found several Rough Earth Snakes (Virginia striatula) and a Brown Snake (Storeria dekayi) under some debri at one of the Museum’s storage areas. Both of these snakes areRead more

A Little Brown Snake, Calling Frogs, and Stewed Turtles

A small Brown Snake delighted a group of schoolchildren as it attempted to cross the paved path just below the Lemur House. The tiny snake, unable to gain traction on the relatively smooth macadam to propel itself forward, kept sliding sideways down the path as it wriggled along in high gear. With much effort, and a little coaxing by me, it finally made it to the side of the path and disappeared into the grass. Northern Cricket Frogs are callingRead more

Mallard Surprise, Hawks Fledge

A total surprise was a female Mallard with 7 ducklings in tow. I hadn’t seen a Mallard in the Wetlands for several weeks, other than the always present Mutt Duck (black and white female that’s been hanging around – mallard x domestic duck). On the 25th, both a male and female Mallard (the male molting and looking much like the female) were feeding alongside the Wetlands Overlook. As I stood there wondering where they’d come from, I noticed something movingRead more