Northern Watersnake- Nerodia sipedon- Couleuvre d'eau by Tracy Faught

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Northern Watersnake- Nerodia sipedon- Couleuvre d'eau by 

329 views as of Jan 3 2012.

The Northern Watersnake is a relatively thick-bodied snake,large snake, up to a meter or more in length. Its dorsal surface has dark brown to black blotches or bands on a lighter tan,or brown background, and there are smaller, darker lateral patches alternating with the dorsal bands.

This general description would fit Milksnakes,Hog-nosed snakes and many more…but the best way to distinguish the Watersnake from other blotched snakes is that the Watersnakes are usually in the water or right beside it and Milksnakes and Hog-nosed Snakes are not.

It is considerd to be a “vicious” snake to those that don’t understand it, as it will bit repeatedly if grabbed…but consider what you would do if you were grabbed by " prey" several times your size!! Self preservation…

They are not poisonous!! They are very curious and will approach you and may nip a swimmer with exploritory bites…and love to swim alongside a canoe…this brazen behaviour makes the snake un popular with swimmers and other people trying to enjoy the great outdoors and nature, and as a consequence, Watersankes are heavily persecuted for their impudence. However their curiousity also makes Watersnakes easy to train to eat from ones hand in the wild. They like frogs,tadploes and small fish and can readily learn to feed at a particular spot and time. A human and a watersnake can soon grow to love one another. Such humans become protectors of snakes, and this is good. However, one caution must always be taken as the fed Watersankes do not generally extand gratitude to thier benefactors, and if picked up will bite vigorously.

Having said that… far from being cold and slimy, a snake feels warm,soft and dry to the touch and handling snakes is the best way to overcome our fear of them. There is only one poisonous snake in Ontario, the Massassauga Rattler. It lives in the area of Gerorgian Bay. All snakes should be handled with resonable caution…the Gatersnake, the Milksnake and especialy the Watersnake will bite if they are roughly treated and most snakes when first handled are, not surprisingly, frightend, and will smear foul smelling concoctions on their bodies as away to defend themseleves. Other snakes not mentioned here will never bite, no matter how badly they are treated, but those that do bite should not be given a bad name just for defending them selves. After all, a chipmunk will also bite in self defense and far more devastatingly than any Algonquin snake.

I’ve been bit by both…they both left a welt!! lol— Tracy Faught.

Generaly snakes are small, with delicate bones, and it’s surprisingly easy to damage vital organs or delicate vertebrae…in this spirit we sugest that best of all is to leave any snake alone, and just stop to admire it as you would with any other form of wildflife.

—Reptiles and Amphibians of Algonquin Provincial Park.

This snake was found in the Chalk River, Chalk River Ontario, ouside the park bondary but in the same geographic region.

Sept 15 2010

Fuji Finepix S200 EXR Digital.

I’m a Canadian girl that love’s to take pictures. I have a huge love for flowers and critters, so you will see alot of those.

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  • Malcolm Chant
    Malcolm Chantover 4 years ago
    OMG i’ll take your word for it Tracy, you were real brave to get close, ME! i’m a coward.
  • Don’t like spiders or snakes eh? lol!! Thats OK…I’ll get close to them and take the pictures for you Malcolm my friend!! :O]

    – Tracy Faught

  • Ray Clarke
    Ray Clarkeover 4 years ago

  • Thanks Ray! :O]

    – Tracy Faught

  • Carla Wick/Jandelle Petters
    Carla Wick/Jan...over 4 years ago

    great information on this beautiful creature! I have been bit many times by these harmless creatures….MOSTLY because of mishandling when I was younger! I DO know they’re innocent and are just trying to defend……I don’t handle them anymore unles I’m trying to rescue one. Such beautiful patterns to u’r fellow here!

  • You know, I was totaly thinking of you when I was typing out that info Carla!! After all I’ve read about you having snakes in your pocket, and being bitten by them and the pics you’ve posted of you holding snakes etc… it made me smile to think of you…a fellow snake and nature lover and someone that has great respect , as I do, for the natural world around her!! :O]

    – Tracy Faught

  • deb cole
    deb coleover 4 years ago

    Nice shot, Tracy!

  • Thanks so very much Deb!! :O]

    – Tracy Faught

  • Mike Oxley
    Mike Oxleyover 4 years ago

    A beauty, Tracy, and a very interesting read, too! I’ve seen these guys in the canal and in the river, but it’s been a while.

  • Aren’t they so beautiful!!? He was rather shy this guy…but he kept poking his head up to look at me, swim close, swim away…. lol!! They are a rather large snake as well…I was mesmerized watching him for awhile.
    Thanks Mike!! :O]

    – Tracy Faught

  • Rose Gallik
    Rose Gallikover 4 years ago

    I am never going swimming again in the lake :) Wonderful capture!

  • lol!! Oh dear! ;o]
    Thanks very much Rose!! :O]

    – Tracy Faught

  • AnnDixon
    AnnDixonabout 3 years ago

    Natures Paintbrush

    BEAUTIFUL work

  • THANKS Ann!!! :O]

    – Tracy Faught

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