Monday, June 21, 2010
I'm joining in on Tuesday's Show & Tail at Angela's West Virginia's Treasures. Angela has been having trouble with Mr. Linky lately, but if you leave a comment here or on HER blog, we'll make sure to stop by and visit you to read your animal story; If you have a cute story and picture of a pet, or any furry (or non-furry) friend, you are welcome to join in!
Last Sunday Mr. Wonderful and I saddled up the horses and went for a ride. Fathers Day here in our area of Michigan was hot and humid, but by 5pm it had started to cool down a bit. I brushed the horses and tacked them up, and away we went!
There is a dirt road a couple miles from our place that is nice to ride on - generally little, if any, traffic, and there is a DNR multi-use area where we can ride off-road and see nature at its finest. The smell of pine trees and scent of wild flowers - very relaxing, and beautiful to be outside in. We were riding along a row of old pine stumps that had been uprooted and used for a farm fence years back, when suddenly, OUT OF THE BLUE, Mr. Wonderful detected "SNAKE!"
On top of one of the old roots lay one of the longest snakes I've ever seen out in the wild! We both said at the same time "Blue Racer!" The snake must have been 5 feet long! And of course I had to check out our DNR website to see if that is what kind of snake it truly was....and yes indeed-y! My dad did not lie in the stories he told us about these snakes years ago - - There ARE Blue Racers in Michigan!
Blue Racer Facts: A large gray or blue snake with smooth scales. The head is usually darker than the body, though the chin and throat are white. The belly is light blue or white. Young racers are grayish, with a pattern of darker blotches and spots. Adult length: 4 to 6 feet. Racers inhabit a variety of places, including open woods, meadows, hedge rows, marshes, and weedy lake edges. They are alert, active snakes that may climb into low bushes to escape enemies. These snakes feed on rodents, frogs, smaller snakes, birds, and insects. Although they will bite if cornered or grabbed, racers are not venomous. Females lay 6 to 25 eggs in rotting wood or underground during June and July. The young racers hatch in late summer and, as noted above, are colored differently than the adults.
The DNR reports that the number of Blue Racers has declined, due to persecution by humans and habitat loss. It could be why they are seldom seen.
Have a S-s-s-sens-s-s-sational Day -