Wednesday, 11 July 2012

Look who was hiding in my dirt pile!

Nearly done!
Funny, but the experts tell me that this is a baby watersnake!
I might not have picked it up if I knew that! They are a little more wicked than the docile ratsnakes!

I've been plugging away at this pile for months. Finally, got down to the last few shovel fulls.
Now, my boys (The Twins) had been out helping me. I asked them to find me a snake, as I wanted to get a photo to prove we have Gray Ratsnakes (Pantherophis spiloides)on the property. Buster found the last one, while I was busy digging. He sat there, ears perked up. He'd heard her in the forest.

Love the patterns
Today, he also heard something, as did Felix. But they seemed to know it wasn't a delectable mouse.
My supervisors took off down into the meadow. No helpers today.

This one was so sweet!
They don't have big teeth, and sometimes they pretend to be rattlers, shaking their wee tails. This one was anxious to get away. I just wanted a photo-op and I promised it I wouldn't hurt it.

It sort of swam,
like a water snake,
along the grass
Soft and silky-smooth.
Tried to hide under the tire, which is about 10 cm/ 4" wide
My hands were clean, at least no bug spray or lotion! I'd been hauling dirt for hours, trying to protect my dry plants with more top soil.
For more Reptiles and Amphibians of Ontario...

Northern Watersnake 
(Nerodia sipedon sipedon)

Current Status & Protection

The northern watersnake is currently listed as Not at Risk under the Ontario Endangered Species Act, 2007 and Not at Risk under the federal Species at Risk Act. The species has also been designated as a Specially Protected Reptile under the Ontario Fish and Wildlife Conservation Act.

so wee!

So. male or female?
Must do some research!

Beautiful flat underbelly, to better climb trees!

Lady, watcha doin'?

 If you spot a reptile, amphibian, go to Ontario Nature and register it!
Report them to the Ontario Reptile and Amphibian Atlas - just set up an account and use this reporting form online.
The four categories, or classes, of "at risk" are:
EXTIRPATED - a native species that no longer exists in the wild in Ontario, but still exists elsewhere 
ENDANGERED - a native species facing extinction or extirpation
THREATENED - a native species at risk of becoming endangered in Ontario
SPECIAL CONCERN - a native species that is sensitive to human activities or natural events which may cause it to become endangered or threatened


Anonymous said...

I have never saw one like that here in our part of ontario, they are pretty,

Red said...

Good for you for spreading information on endangered species. So much habitat is completely fragmented that these critters have a difficult time to survive.

Sallie (FullTime-Life) said...

Good for your little helpers, finding you that nice snake!