This female American Robin was already sitting on a full clutch of eggs. I believe this observation would qualify as "confirmed" breeding for the Ohio Breeding Bird Atlas II. And good fortune smiled upon us as we admired the robin, who was probably much less enamored with us. One of the few cars that we had seen all day in the forest came crunching along the gravelly road, and who should be at the wheel but noted wildlife photographer Jeff Wolfinger.And lo and behold, Jeff produced one of most beautiful and inoffensive reptiles imaginable, a Worm Snake! Truly a scaly stunner, these tiny animals look amazingly similar to earthworms, and when you first uncover one hiding beneath a rock, that's often the first thought people have.
Alicia Elmer boldly holds the writhing serpent, displaying little or no fear. I don't think the most extreme ophidiophobe could be too worried about a Worm Snake. This is about as big as they get, and frankly, they are rather cute. Bite? Wouldn't even occur to them, and even if they tried I suspect the victim would not even notice. Snakes are a fascinating part of our natural heritage, and it's a shame that more people don't get hand's-on experiences with them, like this.