Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Snakes Also on the Move

Eastern Garter Snake (Thamnopis sirtalis) in Warden Woods

Salmon aren't the only creatures heading to a fall destination. During a bike ride on Saturday, I spotted four snakes, three garter snakes and one brown snake (Storeria dekayi). It appears that in the fall snakes are on the move searching for a hibernaculum where they can survive the winter. In our climate cold-blooded reptiles need to hibernate during the cold winter months.

All of the sightings were on the bike path. Presumably while crossing they pause to soak up some heat from the pavement so if you are out cycling in the next couple of weeks please keep a sharp eye out for these creatures so they don't become roadkill. If you're like me you might even pause to take some photographs. If you do please urge the snakes nicely off the path and on their way.

A close-up shot of its head. I was lucky enough to catch it flicking its tongue. A snake's tongue is very sensitive and can sense movement, odours and even temperature changes.

No comments: