Nature Finds: Unexpected Reptiles and Swarms

Two very different snakes presented themselves recently.  This little guy was hiding under some old rotting wooden pallets we were moving.  We weren’t sure what kind of snake he was, only he didn’t look like the poisonous kind.  I thought maybe he was a small rat snake.

This monster was a coachwhip snake that Ethan uncovered when he was moving the goat’s electric netting fence.  They are very, very fast and don’t worry – not a dangerous snake.  It was huge.  There was an 8-ft section of pipe it slithered to hide in, and almost didn’t fit.  We like them, because they are not poisonous and they must do some damage to the rodent population.

Another interesting thing we nearly stumbled on – we were helping Mirin make a map of the farm for homeschool – was a swarming harvester ant nest.  It had three holes along the path, all swarming with ants.  The big queens looked like wasps and were flying away.  I almost ran into them and thought they were flies at first.  The drones were smaller and more slender.  Mirin was really excited because he has had an interest in harvester ants recently.  Between the three holes we could kind of get an idea of how large their nest was – at least about five or six feet across.

This was just a huge grasshopper eating sumac berries.  Sumac berry lemonade is very popular around here these days!

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