A Garter and a Thrasher

Top Photo: Eastern garter snake enjoys sun on chilly spring morning. A garter snake was seen for four (probably still there) consecutive days sunning under a wax myrtle just a few feet from the path in Explore the Wild. The snake may be the same female which was spotted in February sunning among the sandstone slab steps at Water’s Edge some fifty yards or so to the west. Garter snakes bear live young from June through September, depending upon when theyRead more

New Arrivals in Wetlands

Top Photo: Paddling out in the wetlands (new wetlands structure coming). If you’ve been out in Explore the Wild lately you may have noticed several new arrivals in and around the Wetlands, a floating walkway, geese, ducks, and a snake. First, the walkway. A new floating walkway across at least part of our wetlands has arrived in sections and is now in the process of being bolted together in Explore the Wild. If you stroll through the area, you mostRead more

Familiar Faces

If you’ve spent any time walking the paths at the Museum of Life and Science, the following faces may be familiar to you. All of them, save one, are residents in some form. Above (banner photo) is one of our ring-tailed lemurs (Satyrus). Snakes are always a possibilty, even in winter. If you do see a snake during winter it’s probably a brown snake or possibly a garter snake. Everyone has seen one or more of our four black bearsRead more

More Cold Weather Snake ID

In the previous post, I mentioned that some herpetological references state that venomous snakes in our area have broad, arrowhead-shaped heads and that non-venomous snakes do not. I also mentioned that some species of non-venomous snake “flatten themselves, the head included, to appear more threatening when disturbed.” Here are a handful of examples of that behavior. All are non-venomous garter snakes found at various locations here at the Museum. First, the typical head of an eastern garter snake. Now, several snakesRead more

Copperhead vs Northern Water Snake

A slightly different version of this was posted in May of 2013. I know, it’s cold outside. Temps are in the mid-20s as I write and snakes are nowhere to be seen. Most of you are probably not going to spend a whole lot of time outdoors during the next few days, so why not sit back, grab a cup of joe (or cocoa), and brush up on your snake identification skills. Besides, we start seeing water snakes in our WetlandsRead more

Some Old Familiar Faces

The fine weather of the past week has brought out some old friends. A large female northern water snake that likes to spend her spring days basking in the sun under the still bare branches of the dawn redwoods at the base of the boardwalk is back doing just that. Look for her on the right side of the boardwalk as you walk down the last descending portion of the boardwalk.       Although a few common snappers haveRead more

A Few More Sightings From the Wild

It’s been a while since I’ve come upon an adult Red Swamp Crawfish hiking across the path in Explore the Wild. I’d seen a bunch of the younger and smaller crawfish caught and used in Wetlands Teaching Programs, but hadn’t seen adults out and about for some time. The heavy rains of the past week brought them out of the water and on to the “road.” Last week I posted about a mourning dove building a nest in a willowRead more

Water Snakes and the Snake Wrangler

Yesterday (3/21/12) brought out the first water snakes of the season here at the Museum, three of them! If the snake above doesn’t look familiar to you perhaps this will refresh your memory. And lastly, garter snakes have been active all winter, as discussed in a previous post, so it’s no surprise that one was seen in Catch the Wind on Tuesday March 20 by Bungee Operator/Snake Wrangler Ryne. The snake was patrolling the U-shaped pond next to Take OffRead 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