Gator Tales

     Many outdoor enthusiasts have encountered snakes around ponds, lakes, creeks, rivers, or other wet areas. Without a field guide, how would you know what kind it was?  There are many kinds of water snakes including Red Bellied (pictured above), Eastern Green, Banded, Brown and Southern to name a few. A casual glance at their markings alone may not correctly distinguish them from a water moccasin. Rest assured, a brochure provided by the GA DNR contains excellent advice, photos and information on water moccasins and water snakes. Here are some highlights on identifying these reptiles of the aquatic persuasion:

  • Water moccasins, or "Cottonmouths," are relatively short and wide.        Water snakes are longer and more slender.
  • Water moccasins move slowly and defend their territory while water snakes move quickly away from disturbances.
  • When swimming, cottonmouths keep only their head above water while water snakes keep most of their body above water.
  • Cottonmouths always cock their heads at a 45 degree angle on land. Water snakes keep their heads level with the ground.
  • Both snakes feed on fish, frogs and other prey found around aquatic habitats.
           For information on venomous vs. non-venomous snakes,           
go to Trail Talk" and click "know your snakes."

Seen on the Trails

     The famous rock and roll group known as the Beatles was not the first of its name to invade America. In 1916, the original Beetles were introduced to the North East United States. That time, however, they did not come from England.
     The Japanese Beetle has been a pest to all gardens and is moving south as far as middle Georgia. The larvae feed underground on roots and the adults eat leaves, fruits and flowers of hundreds of different species.
     If you want to get rid of them, but are reluctant to spray insecticides, let nature help you instead.
     Songbirds eat insects such as beetles and like all living things, need water to live. To attract them to your yard, provide several shallow-basin bird baths near your beds. The birds will enjoy the water and take advantage of an easy insect too.
     To encourage the birds to forage on insects, do not
offer seed during the peak insect times of the year.
     Let the birds patrol your flower beds for those garden pests so that you may relax and have fun somewhere else.

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Dauset Trails Nature Center

         Dauset Trails Nature Center's mission is to provide quality environmental education, outdoor recreation, and an understanding of early farm life through close and intimate contact with Georgia's  preserved flora and fauna.

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