Yesterday looked like it was going to be just another uneventful day. Kids, housework, messin' with the kittens, and doing my horse chores. I managed to spare a little extra time to take Little Dona with Velvet & I on our little ride. It was pleasant. No major problems. All was good.
When we got back, I even decided to slap MY saddle on Dona to see how she liked a little weight. Normally, she gets one of the much lighter saddles. She, frankly, did not care.
Then, as they were happily munching their dinners & getting into a good feelin' kinda groove, I decided to scrub out their water tank & refill it with fresh. Meh, it was time. When I got out there, I found this little guy.
If it wasn't for the fact that I already had the hose on & my scrubber ready to go, I would have run up to the house for my camera. All I could do, though was grab my phone & snap one. Now, I must say ... I am used to seeing snakes around the area. I usually spot at least one on any given longer trail ride. I find them often in blueberry bushes, under wood in the field, and sneaking out from under the chicken coop. I have even found them IN my hay bales from time to time. But, this was the first one I have found in a water trough. What a pleasant surprise.
He/she was adorable. No more than a foot long, and a little thicker around than a good pencil. The only thing, is that I don't really recognize the markings. Comparing him to some pics I found I think he's a northern water snake, but I cannot be sure. You can't tell in the pics, but he had round pupils, and no buds on his tail, so massauga never crossed my mind. Even babies have a bud, right?
This has to be the summer of the snake around here. Without looking for them, so far I have seen 4 garter snakes, 3 blue racers, this little fella, and I heard a rattler when fixing the fence about a month ago. Believe me, I would have looked harder, but when the grass is as tall as I am, I pretty much figure it's a lost cause. Strangely, the horses haven't spent much time in that area this year when they are out to graze. Hmmm.
Is anyone out there talented and knowledgeable of Michigan Herps? If it helps, he was is northern Berrien county. No worries, snake lovers, I gently dumped out the remainder of the water and him with it before I started scrubbing. Don't want to hurt the baby snakeys. They are so good!