Wednesday, May 2, 2012

New Wrinkle!

That's what Ben says happens in his brain when he learns something new.  He gets a new wrinkle.

I, too have learned something new.  It is that, every single time I have seen a copperhead, it's been a banded water snake.  The path to my knowledge began yesterday at Green Mountain, where we met some friends to stroll around the lake-which did not happen.  We ended up hanging out in the picnic and waterfall area, chatting and enjoying watching the younger kids play while the older kids wandered around and chatted to each other.  I remember Jake saying, "I don't want to grow up, all grown ups do is go somewhere and TALK."  I think my baby is growing up, as he and Austin ended up confirming each others phone numbers 2 hours later so they could talk more later.  haha!

Okay, digression likely over, back to The Tale of The Tail.  And the head, because there's not much else to a snake.  The Tail of the Tube with Fangs. 

While we were on the shores of Sky Lake, we were watching the V's of...something, what is that, oh!  It's a snake!  Upon closer inspection, it was a series of snakes, swimming around back and forth to the little island and along the shoreline.  The dozen or so geese did not react when one would pass within an inch or two, often being rocked by the wake of the geese, which they seemed oblivious to as well.

These snakes did something I was TOTALLY unaware snakes could do.  They DOVE UNDER THE SURFACE.  Katy and I immediately agreed that we did not like thinking of them UNDER the water.  I felt a little faint when I first saw it, I was trying to get a photo and it just went head-first right down and disappeared into the darker water below, tail last.  It came up about 20 or so seconds later several feet away, pointed in a different direction. 

I immediately ID'd them as copperheads due to the dark and light brown bands, though about 10 snakes later, I admit, I also noticed the heads were not widened, but dismissed it.  After all, it could have been a younger snake or something.  I don't really know tons about snakes, I am starting to realize.  I announce everyone needs to go home and look up copperheads and e-mail out what they find about eating habits in particular.

Chandler-who did not even go to the lake-set about looking up info as soon as she heard we saw snakes.  "Copperheads eat frogs, chicks and lizards."

Hmm.  Not fish.

Here are pictures from 4 different snakes yesterday:

Below is a photo of an actual copperhead, no photo credit, I copied it from ask dot com.
If it's your photo, I will be glad to give credit.

And below is a banded water snake, photo by J.D. Willson, from the Savannah River Ecology Lab's Herp Program

So, what I have been calling copperheads for YEARS are really banded water snakes!

Here are two things I actually CAN ID correctly:

 An Eastern Tiger Swallowtail Caterpillar

And, Catfish