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).

A small rat snake sits on an overturned stump on an unusually warm October day.

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 to get it. By the time I got back within sight of the little serpent, I could see it quickly turn and slither towards the water, a missed opportunity (for me).

brwon snake
A Brown Snake (about 12″) which had unfortunately not made it across the pavement.

The Brown Snake was also on the path, but unfortunately it had expired. It looked to have been stepped on, by accident I’m sure. I’ve also found two Ground Skinks in the same condition this week. This is indeed unfortunate because these are gentle little herps.

With all of the leaves and pine needles that have been falling to earth this past week it can be difficult to see such small, cryptically colored animals on the path. They sometimes freeze when approached, apparently relying on their coloration to make them “invisible” to whatever it is that’s approaching them, which in reality, while on the path, makes them more likely to be tread upon. I almost stepped on a skink myself this past week.

Keep an eye out for our little friends. Both the skink and the snake do us a service by eating many insects and other invertebrates.

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