Cold Weather Snake

The sharp eye of Animal Keeper Katie caught sight of a black rat snake clinging to a Carolina maple tree trunk in Catch the Wind on Wednesday (3/15/17). It’s not unusual to spot a rat snake here on campus, they’re a common sight. What’s unusual is that the temperature was in the mid-thirties at the time. It’s tempting to say this snake was caught out in the cold unexpectedly. After all, the entire month of February here in the CarolinasRead more

Two Snakes

It can sometimes (often) be confusing as to what species of snake you’re looking at when you come across one on a trek along your favorite hiking trail, your backyard, or here at the Museum. I’ve often stated on this blog the clear difference between copperheads and other non-venomous snakes here at the Museum. But there are two species which even confuse me at times. The black rat snake and black racer are both common snakes here at the Museum.Read more


While walking through Catch the Wind, I caught a glimpse of a black snake in the grass on the side of the path. It was a black racer.     There are two species of snake here at the Museum which are black, the black rat snake and the racer. Rat snakes average about five feet, maxing out at little over seven. The racer averages about four feet in length, maxing at just under six. The racer is black throughout except under the chin andRead more

Catbird Defends Nest

The urgent, squeaky cries of a catbird in the willows off to my right could be one of two things, a dispute between two rival male catbirds or a nearby predator (more likely). Since there were a couple of cardinals and at least one towhee involved with the squawking and carrying on, it could only be one of those things, a predator was nearby. The intruder was either in the trees or just below the birds and the birds were mobbingRead more


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

Turtle Stroll, Snakes Hunt, and Frogs Call Out

Top Photo: Yellow-bellied slider digs nest hole along path. Over the past few weeks adult turtles have been seen walking across the paved path in both Catch the Wind and Explore the Wild. Adult turtles in our area, with the exception of Eastern Box Turtles, which are terrestrial, may be on land for several reasons. They may be looking for a better food source, a mate, or they may be headed off to lay eggs. If you see a turtleRead more