Thursday, June 19, 2008

Snake, Rattle and Roll!

I just returned from a one week trip to Ontario in which I was able to witness a fascinating and most unusual event- a rattlesnake roundup! Well, not exactly a roundup, but I was out with two Parks Canada biologists checking out a new addition to the Georgian Bay Islands National Park, when one of the guys, Scott Sutton nearly stepped on a Eastern Massisauga Rattlesnake. Now most people may have panicked and gone into a convulsion just at the thought of such an encounter, But not Scott- nor Andrew Promaine either- actually not me too- this was too exciting-because the Massisauga is a rare and endangered species- the only rattlesnake in eastern Canada and here in Georgian Bay at its northern extreme.

The guys caught this healthy specimen- and did some observations as well as drew some blood and placed a micro chip in it. What I found fascinating about the whole spectacle beside watching these biologists in action-was that this snake unlike the Pacific rattler is quite docile. Not a mean and ugly rattler like the ones out here in the Northwest! Its rattling too was more sedate. A very cool looking critter and one I was glad to meet up close and personal and when he was in a tube and couldn't get to know me better!

(photo- Scott and Andrew with an elusive Massisauga rattler on a little unnamed island in Georgian Bay)

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