Sunday, November 3, 2013

Winter Snakes

I HATE WINTER!  Well I don't actually hate it but now that I live in Colorado, it means 4 long months of no snakes.  November, December, January, and February have historically been brutal for me - just ask Heather if you ever want the details of how depressed I can really get during these months.  When I lived in Georgia I knew that any day with sunshine there was a possibility I could find a snake.  Hell, the US's longest snake, the Eastern Indigo Snake, is even active all winter seeking out its mates and always seemed to prefer 65 degree sunny days in my experience.  That is just not possible in Colorado.  It is true that if we have a 70 degree day in November, I can find a few rattlesnakes in a prairie dog town but that is just not the same as heading to a sand ridge to chase indigos.  There is nothing better than walking up to a 7' long indigo snake soaking up the sun on a crisp beautiful winter day.

Large indigo snake as found and being held

Close-up of an indigo snake
I wrote in my first blog that if I start talking about the past, you were cleared to slap me hard across the face with no repercussions from me.  I guess it is a good thing for me and you (because I am not sure I could keep my promise of no repercussions) that this blog is not about the past.  This blog is about what I am going to do all this winter to stay active, motivated, and excited about snakes.  This winter is not about the snakes that I cannot find because they are deep underground hiding from freezing temperatures.  What a depressing thought - dwelling on the past and what I cannot have.  NO!  This winter is about the snakes I maintain in one of the Center for Snake Conservation's four teaching collections.  We have snakes in Ft. Collins, Littleton, Castle Rock, and Louisville that visit schools and other events throughout the year helping to educate people about the amazing lives and adaptations of snakes.  This winter I am going to love bringing you up-close encounters with the snakes in our Louisville collection.  The photo below is an example of the fun you and I will be having all winter long.  :)  I am sure some of you are cringing just looking at the photo below but hopefully after this long winter you will have a new appreciation for snakes - at least for the snakes at the Center for Snake Conservation.

Fun with a reticulated python
Every 70 degree or warmer day this winter is going to be spent complaining that I am not in Georgia chasing snakes.  No these warm days are going to be spent exercising our larger snakes outdoors.  I will photograph and video these outings as the snakes race around the yard, climb trees, and hang out with my boys.  In addition, as my evening schedule allows I am going to pick a different snake and make short videos of them hanging out with the boys, dogs, or me.  I will also take time to write individual biographies of our snakes letting people know how they got their name, what kind of snake they are, and any peculiar personality traits they may have.  Feel free to ask questions about the snakes or send in requests for additional information, photos, or videos of a snake previously highlighted.  You can send your requests to

This is going to be a great winter filled with snakes!  :)  I know you will enjoy it as much as I will.

The big dog with Pequeno the anaconda
A baby boa exploring the hammock

Here is a video of Lucy Grace - our largest reticulated python slithering by:

Lucy Grace Slithers By from Center for Snake Conservation on Vimeo.

No comments:

Post a Comment