Saturday 7 July 2012

Murphys Point Park Snake Talk

My kids were camping at the park this week. After we packed up, and returned our gear, we had an ice cream. At 2 p.m., at the Visitor Centre, Alida was doing a snake talk.
Our nameless 20 or 30-something-yr. old snake

For those who fear snakes, this is an easy way to get to know them. I first met snakes at the cottage. Everyone used to kill Water Snakes on sight, never mind the rattle snakes, because in the 60s we didn't understand the cycle of life.
Next snake I met was Nigini, my grade 8 science teacher had a Boa Constrictor in our classroom. In my classrooms, I did much in the way of educating students about biodiversity, species at risk, and the important of the cycle of life.

While Alida talked, she let snakie put himself on the tree.

These snakes have flat bellies, to allow them to grab with their bellies onto the bark. Their skin is silkie-smooth, and warm to the touch.

Yes, these snakes go up into the trees, but you need not fear them falling, they are up there very securely!

You'll find them on the edge of a forest, they tell me. Where they can sun themselves, and find places to rub up against to shed their skins. Although, my cat spotted one in the leaves on the ground. I convinced him to find something else to play with!

We spotted a Ratsnake on the road last month. It rattled its tale, just like rattlers, an interesting defense mechanism as it mimics Rattlesnakes when it ruffles the leaves!

The park has Water Snakes, as well as Garter Snakes. The Ratsnake is the most docile. The park continues to chip and monitor snakes, as this species is at-risk for extirpation.

Sliding scale of species who are in danger of extinction:
  1. Species at risk -
  2. Special concern - 
  3. Threatened - 
  4. Endangered -
  5. Extirpated - gone in a particular region or ecosystem.
  6. Extinct - gone forever.
Jofee (4 yrs.) led the parade.

Water Snake suns itself on an old Beaver Lodge
A wee garter snake I rescued from the cats!

Northern Redbelly on my snake ID guide
not rescued from cats

Eastern Garter snake

Eastern massassagua rattler  - courtesy Bruce Clark 
Found on the shores of Georgian Bay


DeniseinVA said...

Such an interesting post and a great series of photos. I'm always on the lookout for snakes when I go to the parks but have not seen one for a long while.

TexWisGirl said...

some great shots. :)

Coloring Outside the Lines said...

Interesting- thanks for sharing!

Misty DawnS said...

Awesome photos. It's good to learn about these critters that most are afraid of. They realize are amazing creatures.

Pat said...

Snakes are fascinating critters!

Kay said...

Gosh... I'm not a great snake lover and they are forbidden in Hawaii. They are interesting creatures though.

Karen said...

That's a great way to get kids accustom to snakes!

Red said...

I didn't know Ontario had so many snakes. I see a garter snake here about every five years. Towards Drumheller there are rattle snakes.

VioletSky said...

While I am not afraid of snakes (I reserve that particular fear for all things spidery) I wouldn't mind knowing a bit more about them. I never realky thought about how many species we have here.

SquirrelQueen said...

What a great program. I like to see people, especially children, learning about snakes. There are so many misconceptions about snakes which is why a lot of people fear them.

eileeninmd said...

I enjoyed this post and the snakes are cool. The program is a great learning tool for the children. Thanks for sharing, great shots.

Powell River Books said...

Glad you got a chance to be "off the grid" for a bit. When I was little, my parents took me camping every summer (they were both teachers of course). I remember the ranger talks and walks very much. I learned to much that I've kept with me to this day. - Margy

EG CameraGirl said...

Cool. I know very little about snakes.

Chubskulit Rose said...

Snake is not my thing wahhh..

Late visiting from Camera Critters. Come and take at peek at my Bunnies when you get a chance. Have a great week ahead.