Today, July 16, is the World Snake Day, and that is a good opportunity to take a closer look on what is happening to Wolf Trap’s residential watersnakes.
“I wanna be a snake, ‘cos they can lie when walking.”
(a preschool hiker in an old Czech comedy)
There are many watersnakes living in the Wolf Trap park, but on this festive day, I will update an earlier post that focused on a pair of watersnakes living near the Gazebo bridge. To maintain compatibility, I will continue calling them “Archibald von Wolf Trap” and “Joan of Park”, although it is a bit of a misnomer, as in the meantime, I learned that both are most likely females (males of the species are smaller).
Their daily activities take place mostly in two areas. On the rocky slope on the upstream side of the Gazebo bridge (which is Archibald’s domain) and in the convoluted root system of a tree on the meadow side of the creek, about 100 feet upstream from the bridge (that is Joan’s domain).
Archibald seems a bit darker, while Joan is a bit lighter with hints of orange on her belly side. But those are not very distinctive traits and, in general, I use their names to merely mark the location. The snake from the bridge is Archibald and the one from the root system is Joan. In reality, they probably commute between the two locations, so some of the names below may be mixed up.
The season started on an amorous note.
Some videos of Archibald:
And last, but not least – a word from our Sponsor:
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