Narcisse Snake Dens

The Narcisse Snake Dens are about an hour’s drive north of Winnipeg.  I live in the south of Winnipeg, and it took almost an hour of city driving before I reached the north of Winnipeg, so it was a bit longer for me to get there.

The forecast was good with temperatures around 20C under sunny skies and when I left, it was about 9C with partly cloudy skies.  As I drove further north, the temperature showing on my car’s dash, was going down.  By the time I reach the dens, the temperature was 5C under cloudy skies and strong winds.  I hadn’t brought a jacket with me and  considered turning around and heading for home, but decided that since I had come this far, I might as well check things out.

The first den had no life around it at all, but the last report from the site had indicated that, so I wasn’t surprised and just continued on to the 2nd den.

The 2nd den did have snakes, but not a lot.  I saw a few dozen altogether, but I have seen hundreds there before.  By concentrating on the snakes themselves I managed a few decent pictures of them.

The walk to the next 2 dens was across an open field and I decided to miss them this time.  I was informed by an employee that the 2nd den has had the most action so far and I would have seen the best already anyway.

These are are little Garter Snakes and once they move away from the dens, they can easily be handled if they are alone.  Please do not attempt to pick up a mating pair or group.  The weather just has to warm up and stay warm for several days before they get more active.  Here are the pictures along with a short video that I took this morning.

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I also saw birds and although I didn’t get pictures of most of them, I did manage one little guy that I will hopefully find a name for (my guess is Savannah Sparrow) and a pair of Sandhill Cranes in a field.  I think my guess was wrong.  A member of the Manitoba Birds FaceBook page suggested Lincoln’s Sparrow.  It certainly has the grey stripe on top of the head and over the eyes – so I think she is right.

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Critters that I saw, but was unable to take pictures of while I was driving were 3 deer, 2 hawks and several Magpies.

The snakes are late coming out of the dens this year due to our weather.   It has to stay warm for a few days in a row to warm up the underground dens, but it has been going up & then way down.

I might take another trip next week, and will go a bit later in the day.  I am a morning person and I always go early but this time it would have been better to go in the afternoon when it would have been warmer.   Now that I am back in the city, it is sunny and the temperature is in the mid teens.

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