The warm weather—temperatures in the mid-80s— of the past few days have brought out some of the reptiles that live in our wildlife sanctuary.
Sometimes finding wildlife is just knowing where to look.
This week educator/naturalist Emily Boves discovered two small brown water snakes (Nerodia taxispilota) at the Ijams family Lotus Pond in an area I call the snake-spa. (It's an unofficial designation, don't look for a sign.) They can often be found sunning themselves on a log there.
Brown water snakes were once called "false moccasins" because people killed them thinking they were killing venomous water moccasins, but that species is not found in the Tennessee Valley.
Brown water snakes are harmless. Completely and assuredly harmless.
- Text by Stephen Lyn Bales. Photo by Emily Boves.