Today we finally took ourselves and our visitors out of the city. We headed north to investigate the world famous snake pits in Narcisse. Great name for a really cool place. My husband and I were a little dubious, I mean the snakes usually come out in the first 2 weeks of May, but it has been so warm recently we decided to risk an early trip. So we piled into the car (plus younger dog) and headed north for a couple of hours, pulled on fleeces when we arrived and thought 'no self respecting reptile will be out at this temperature even though the sun is blazing'.
How wrong we were! We only saw two of the four pits, but we must have seen at least a thousand red-sided garter snakes getting busy. They overwinter in hibernacula and come out to mate and eat and have their young when the snow melts.
The dog was a little worried by these slithery creatures, but didn't try to eat any, which was a relief for the snakes' sake. The kids did manage to catch them, but were very gentle. Everyone held a snake, except Jean who was doing well to even be in the same field as the critters.
I love animals (except bugs) so it was a wonderful natural phenomena to witness.