Wildscreen arkive

I don’t know who jumped higher – my wife, the dog, or me.  Probably me.

We were out to beautiful Belle River on the Lake for a walk and to check out the spring collection of goslings.  We weren’t disappointed.  There were lots to enjoy.  As is our habit, we also decided to go for a walk out to the end of the pier and see what the people fishing were catching.

Like most piers, the sides are protected with large rocks and the sun was out.  As we walked along, the dog looked over the edge, stopped and started sniffing.  We also stopped (me because the leash wouldn’t reach any further) to see what was up.

You guessed it.

There was a snake enjoying the warmth of the rocks.  It moved its head in response to the dog’s presence and we all saw it at the same time.  And jumped!

I’ve always been afraid of snakes.  I blame one of my primary teachers.  I remember one of the moments – we had to memorize the poem “The Fastidious Serpent”.  To make it worse, we sang it.

THERE was a snake that dwelt in Skye,
Over the misty sea, oh;
He lived upon nothing but gooseberry pie
For breakfast, dinner and tea, oh.

Now gooseberry pie — as is very well known, —
Over the misty sea, oh,
Is not to be found under every stone,
Nor yet upon every tree, oh.


The only difference is that I don’t remember it as “gooseberry” but as “puppy dog” pie.  Why would they inflict this on us?

I could go on and on about my phobia.

But, that’s not the point of this post.  I’d like to use this as an opportunity to introduce the Wildscreen arkive.

Screenshot 2018-05-06 at 14.29.54

Imagine a search engine just for searching nature.  My job was to search and see if I could find what species of snake this was – by picture.

The results kind of creeped me out.  I like to take pictures as much as the next person but you wouldn’t see me getting this close to a snake in action just to get a picture.  My comfort zone with snakes is about 6 feet up in the air waiting to land!

For the classroom researcher, the site is perfect.  For the teacher, there’s a devoted page with all kinds of teaching resources and ideas for the classroom.

Enjoy – and beware the snakes.



, , ,




2 responses to “Wildscreen arkive”

  1. adunsiger Avatar

    This is pretty amazing! I just played around with the Arkive to see if there were any photographs or videos of worms: our kids’ current obsession. The ones there are quite remarkable. I actually wonder if they’re worms or snakes (they terrify me too, by the way). I know that some of our kids would love these photographs and videos, and they would generate a lot of wonder. Thanks for sharing something new to investigate, Doug!



  2. dougpete Avatar

    Always glad to help out, Aviva. I like resources like this because it narrows the focus and generally gives safer and more relevant results than turning to a major search engine where you can find everything and more. The more becomes a distractor at times.


Please share your thoughts here

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: