After sitting in a meeting all day, it was time to head to the hills. With bicycles, snake grabber, and camera in tow, we were off to the incredible Kansas Outback. And it did not disappoint--beautiful vistas, interesting wildlife, and a green carpet decorated with spring's finest floral displays of wild flowers. (A collage of these flowers will follow shortly in the next post.) The coolest animal was this Long-nosed Snake. It was spotted lying in the middle of the road soaking up some rays. Just as we stopped to observe it, a big black, smoke spewing, oversized pickup truck came pouring down the road. Snatching the snake from its path, we made appropriate introductions with the critter, took pictures, then let the fascinating animal go on its way. This is a story about saving one cool snake from what is so much just an unconscious occurrence of flattened serpents. And this particular species is of particular interest and beauty. Besides its attractive colors and pattern, it is on the State of Kansas Species of Conservation Need List. It is there because of concerns about reductions in its population status in recent decades. As one of these species of conservation need, it is a barometer of healthy ecosystems. Where this one was found, the Red Hills ecosystem is quite healthy. We hope we all can keep it that way and that this beautiful animal can continue to make a living in this very special Kansas landscape.
|This is a typical posture for snakes catching some sun in the road. As cold-blooded animals, they need the heat of the sun and surroundings to be able to move about.|
|The author makes an introduction and admires this beautiful snake. The snake flicks its tongue and is not impressed at the interruption in its day.|
|A close-up of the Long-nosed Snake.|
|Lee Ann shows how docile an animal this is.|
After an ample number of pictures, we release our friend. But he seems to have grown fond of HIS new friends. :-)