Monday, March 31, 2008
Thursday, March 27, 2008
Tuesday, March 25, 2008
Black Rat Snakes are extremely beneficial in the control of rodents, although birds and eggs are also part of their diet. This one probably just emerged from hibernating in one of the rock crevices that was nearby. They are also known to hibernate in cavities of trees (they are excellent climbers) and old buildings. They are constrictors which means they wrap their body around their prey until it suffocates. Usually when encountered they will "freeze" and if disturbed will hiss, rattle it's tail and bite (although it is not venomous). They have also been known to release a bad odor from scent glands if handled. Unfortunately because of it's tendency to rattle it's tail, it is also killed quite frequently.
The one pictured here was about 3.5 feet long. They can get as long as 8 feet. As they get older and larger, they will lose the pattern that you see here and will become darker and darker.
Since they start to breed in Spring, this might make sense why this one was venturing out. Although as I continued on and looked back at it gleeming in the afternoon sun, the cry of a Red-Tailed Hawk sounded overhead. I never stayed around to see if the snake survived another day.
Tuesday, March 18, 2008
certain set of creatures inhabiting my neighboring natural areas. I
then descended on Adams County about a year ago, and with this move
came a whole new set of plants and animals with which I'm now slowly
being familiarized. It's hard to absorb all this new information, so
it was a treat to hear the haunting cry of a Common Loon echoing from
the foggy darkness out on the Ohio River. The Loon is one creature
I've seen and heard many times out on the lakes of the Northwoods.
And the Loon I heard tonight is probably headed there, or even
One thing I have yet to decipher is whether the cry of this Loon was
to relay its coordinates to an incoming mate, or if this was a cry of
bewilderment - at how fast it was floating down the river. With heavy
rains today, and more predicted tomorrow, the Ohio River is swelling
with runoff. Loons nest within a few feet of lake water levels. While
the Ohio River would make miserable nesting habitat for loons because
of water levels that rise and fall 18 feet regularly, the Ohio River
is a regular Loon stop-over during migration. The Loon I heard
sounded off at about 9:15 PM and was between Brush Creek and Manchester.
Monday, March 17, 2008
Thursday, March 13, 2008
Tuesday, March 11, 2008
Friday, March 7, 2008
Thursday, March 6, 2008
Wednesday, March 5, 2008
reading this new Adams County, Ohio Nature & Outdoor Notebook. Please
ask them to bookmark http://adamscountyohionature.blogspot.com/ so
they can return to this page and learn the latest natural happenings
in Adams County!