QUICK ASIDE: The Crawford County Park District is one of Ohio's jewels when it comes to conservation and outdoor education. The organization owns many interesting properties, and puts on a full agenda of excellent programming. To learn more about CCPD, CLICK HERE.
An easy way to lure snakes in is to simply place sheets of tin or wood on the ground. The reptiles will often find them to be good, dark, and warm hiding spots and develop a habit of secreting themselves under the sheets. It's one of these "tins" that Josh has flipped up in the first photo, and in the shot above he has a pair of female common gartersnakes, Thamnophis sirtalis, that he just grabbed from under another sheet.
CLICK HERE for an interesting article about snake tongues and how they work.
There is another much more common albeit range-limited greensnake in Ohio, the rough greensnake, Opheodrys aestivus. I've seen those many times, and once wrote about them RIGHT HERE.
These are exceedingly gentle and beautiful little animals. The stunning lime-green upper surface allows them to blend well with grasses or the foliage of low shrubs and trees. The smooth greensnake only reaches a maximum length of one and a half feet or so. Nonetheless, the little charmers are death on insects, which make up their primary prey.
CLICK HERE for a post with photos of a blue greensnake.
I really appreciate Josh working with us on this field trip; I think everyone (sans two, perhaps) were absolutely thrilled to see this greensnake, and were nearly as interested in the other snakes that we saw. For me, it was especially enjoyable to see a new reptile, and one that I've long coveted.