By Bill Willis and Jeff Church
As the weather fluctuates between warm and cool, our reptiles and amphibian will use the warmth to emerge from their winter hiding places. Turtles are filling up the logs and banks of Discovery Lake. It's during warm days that humans and snakes want to get outside. The two are destined to see each other, but that shouldn't be problematic if the snakes aren't disturbed.
Snakes are good to have in the environment and seeing one may be indicative of a balanced environment. Snakes provide a service in keeping the rodent, reptile, and insect populations in check. In addition, snakes provide a food source for mammals, birds, or even fish.
When walking outside, please keep these points in mind:
It is wise to keep a safe distance from any snake. There are characteristics of the body and head that will help distinguish the copperhead from the water snake, besides the water snake being in or near water. The water snake has round pupils and narrow head (not triangular).
Don't fall victim to a case of mistaken identity. Check the links in this article to help you make the right call while in the woods or near the lake.