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Signs of Spring: Return of the Reptiles

April 23, 2007

Chers Amis,

The violet bravery of the first crocus, yellow sprays of forsythia, a rain of white dogwood petals, robins clamoring cheerily on the greening grass; such are the signs of spring.  Chez nous, home of the would-be herpetologists, it is not the swallows of Capistrono that mark the season’s arrival, but reptiles.  The 100_0551
first to emerge are the sun-loving five-lined skinks and green anoles that congregate in the warm yellow pools on our front walk and deck.  The next to appear on the stage are tiny brown toads, coveted and collected by moist, hot hands.  Lastly, by most momentously are the snakes. 100_1188Not with screams of, "Get the rake! Kill it!" but shrieks of joy and a mad dash to the garage for the ‘snake handling gear.’
( Note:  the house rule is that  Mom must be able to identify said snake before anyone may touch it and then only with gloves.) April seems to be the time for snakes.  Here is Caddie with an Eastern Garter Snake with checkered coloration.  She found the same snake – or an offspring – last year in the same azalea patch almost to the day.

100_1171
Our first snake of the year made me a very unpopular mom, I couldn’t get a good view and wouldn’t let Caddie pick it up.  Oh! Lamantations, did she cry! She was SURE it was a gray rat snake and that I was the meanest mom ever, who never let her do nature study. WHAT!!!  She was probably right about the ID, but better safe than sorry. I think she was off on that nature study bit. Most moms would have been running not for the camera but that rake or shovel.    I am going to have her do a series of nature ID pages on the venomous snakes of Georgia so ISnakes know I she has a better feel for their features.  I found a very good book titled, Snakes of Georgia and South Carolina at a local nature center.  The University of Georgia also has excellent snake and reptile information at this site.  I like how you can roll your cursor over the species name and see a photo immediately. Here is another great link to the  Savannah River Herpetology Program for any other herp-lovers.

So while spring may be about showers and flowers, chez nous its creepy-crawlers 🙂

— Marjorie

PS – We found even more reptiles at lunch today!

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5 Comments leave one →
  1. April 23, 2007 7:23 am

    How fun! I love the notebook idea –

  2. April 23, 2007 12:24 pm

    We are seriously coming over to your house!

  3. hélène permalink
    April 23, 2007 2:46 pm

    We are serously NOT coming over to your house !

  4. April 23, 2007 5:12 pm

    Helene, qu’est-ce qu’il y a? Ce n’est pas une grande probleme, quelques petits serpents partout?!

  5. April 23, 2007 11:35 pm

    Wow, you guys are amazing with the snakes. I’ve reluctantly caught a few garter snakes for the kids in the past couple years. They won’t touch them but they like to look at the ones I’ve caught.

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