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Reptiles

April

On warm sunny April days the first snakes can be seen out of hibernation. Often still covered in mud from underground hibernacula, northern water snakes warm themselves on wetland edges melting away the chill of a long hibernation. In meadows, garter snakes and northern brown snakes are becoming become active often seen warming themselves on pavement or the All Purpose Trails. This is a good time to see black rat snakes before the leaves conceal their presence amongst the tree branches.

June

Snapping turtles and painted turtles can be seen traveling from their wetland homes in search of a location to lay eggs in a warm open area. As their eggs incubate for the next few months the hatchling sex will be determined by the temperature of the nest.

September

Hatchling turtles that have incubated all summer in warm soils begin their trek to nearby wetlands. Some head directly to water, while some are programmed to wander, sometimes up to two weeks, before settling into their new wetland home.