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.
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.