Thursday, April 18, 2019

Snakes on a Pond

Now that Magnus is up and about we knew it wouldn't be long until our resident Northern Water Snake made an appearance.

And I spotted this one out on the edge of our back pond this past Saturday afternoon.

Here's a better view.

And then I spotted this one, not two feet away from the first.

This second snake has the typical banding pattern seen in Northern Water Snakes, but the first was very dark. Which, when looking at the images on my computer, made me wonder if perhaps it wasn't a water snake.

So I went back out for another look. The second snake was still there, but the first had moved.

But I spotted this one, out on an "island" in the pond.* Hmmm ... perhaps it was just the lighting that made the first snake look all black, as clearly now there are bands.

But something didn't seem right.

☀️  🌕  ☀️

The next morning we awoke early and went out to find migrating birds. We didn't. And when we returned home I went to look at the pond. One snake was on the same island as yesterday. There was a Louisiana Waterthrush, a spring migrant, calling from the woods beyond our property. I went looking for it, didn't find it, came back and told Patty. She went looking, heard but did not see it, came back, stopped at the pond, and came in and told me the snakes "were back at the same spot". That meant snakes one and two, so I went to see.

This one was on the "original" island.

This one, perhaps the "black" one, was on a second island.

And this one was hidden in the vegetation.

Three snakes. The mystery solved. And a new record for number of Northern Water Snakes seen in yard in one day.

🏝  🏝  🏝

* Our back pond is man made, installed by the prior owners of our place, with a black rubber liner. It is this liner that the snakes are basking on, as gases get trapped underneath over the winter and it bubbles up in springtime, forming these "islands". Part of the yearly maintenance is to release the gas and sink the islands.

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