More Critters in the Road

Today was snail day…  and wooly bear day.  But there were a few other exciting things along the way as well.

First the snails.  There were lots of them, ranging in size from about 3/4″ to a tiny 3/8″.  They all looked the same, just different sizes.  This was a little one.

And then the wooly bears.  They all had pretty wide brown bands between the black ends.  I’m trying to remember if the folk lore on that means we’re in for an extra severe winter or a mild one.  After reading some info at this site, it seems that the width of the band may be more indicative of the previous winter – more brown hairs = older caterpillar and hence a milder winter the previous year.  If that’s true, it makes sense.  We had a very mild winter with little snow last year.

Along with those fun little critters there was also this teeny tiny red eft.  I wonder how he will survive the winter.  Will he be able to dig down deep enough to keep from freezing or to crawl far enough to find a safe haven for riding out the cold?  I hope so.

And then today’s most exciting find: this red-bellied snake.  I don’t think I’ve ever seen one before.  Apparently they are secretive and quite small; this one was pencil thin and only about 8″ or so.  I thought it was dead when I came upon it as it was stiff when I tried to move it out of the middle of the road.  But when I turned it over to get a look at its underside, it resisted and righted itself.  I did manage to get it to the side and I hope it was able to warm up adequately there, out of harm’s way.

And while we’re at it, I’ll show you a garter snake I saw the other day.  This one was bigger, about 12-14″, and quite mobile and aware.  A little nudge from my foot was all it took to get it off to the side.

I love the amazing things I find in the road.  They vary with the seasons – all so different and beautiful.


1 Response to “More Critters in the Road”

  1. 1 David October 15, 2012 at 2:03 pm

    Never knew that wooly bears froze solid each winter…crazy!

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