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!

This water snake, spotted by a sharp-eyed naturalist visitor, was enjoying the warm sunshine stretched out on a willow branch overhanging the water.
This familiar looking snake was in the location that I often see snakes early in the season, a willow tree next to the path a dozen feet or so from the Wetlands Overlook. Note the stubby tail.

If the snake above doesn’t look familiar to you perhaps this will refresh your memory.

Again, another water snake in a willow but near the sign which directs visitors to the Lemur House in Explore the Wild.

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 Off (the Bunge) when Ryne spotted it among the river rocks that surround the pond.

At my prompting, Ryne caught the snake and was only too happy to show it off to those of us, staff and visitors, standing around him.

Wrangler Ryne with his catch.

And the snake…

This small garter was hunting frogs in the pond next to “Take Off” in Catch the Wind (3/20/12).

Good job Ryne!


5 responses to Water Snakes and the Snake Wrangler

  1. Jenny says:

    I was walking to the bathroom yesterday and ran into a snake just like this crossing the path in front of me. I was heading from the Lemurs toward the Wetlands bathroom. The snake was approx 2 ft long, and it took me by surprise! Glad to know what type it was.

    • Greg Dodge says:

      It sounds like you ran into “Big Red” which is one of our resident female northern water snakes. She’s often seen in that area. In fact, she can sometimes be seen basking in the short grass just off the pavement at the bend in the path.

    • Greg Dodge says:

      Why yes, of course, this snake first appeared last fall when the “stump” was seen crossing the pavement towards the Wetlands. Although I can’t be certain, it sure looks like the same snake. Have a look for yourself: /2011/10/14/a-snakes-tale

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