Wednesday, September 21, 2011
|Northern Water Snake|
all photos copyrighted by Jonathan Schechter
Crooked Lake - Independence Oaks County Park, Independence Twp, Michigan
On this final day of summer it is time for the reptiles of southern Michigan to soak in rays of
warm sunshine before the days cool, nights chill and daylight shrinks. That is their way.
In a few weeks turtles will be heading for muddy pond bottoms and most snakes will be slithering
into their hibernaculum. Our massasauga rattlesnakes will head for moist crayfish burrows and
spend their winter in a state of suspended animation below the frost line.
It did not take long to find reptiles sunning their day away on my last kayak paddle of summer,
for without external warmth they can not properly digest their meals.
All the photos are from Crooked Lake with the exception of the rattler. That native pit viper was sunning on the bike path of Indian Springs Metropark (White Lake Twp. Michigan) a month ago.
I encountered a common garter snake swimming across crooked lake during my mid-day paddle.
Only the snake knew the reason; perhaps it was just a wish to get to the more exposed sunnier side.
photo by Jonathan Schechter