Photo of the Week – October 27, 2010

A plains garter snake near Wood River, Nebraska.

This is the time of year that many animals are making final preparations for winter.  Many snakes, including this plains garter snake, are heading for winter hibernacula – caverns, burrows, or similar places, where they cluster together in large numbers to spend the long winter months.  This snake was laying on the gravel parking lot of our equipment shop this week.  It didn’t seem to feel like moving, so I grabbed the camera and photographed it for a few minutes.  I imagine it was hoping to find a last minute meal before heading underground, so I didn’t keep it long.  Maybe I’ll see it again in the spring.

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About Chris Helzer

Chris Helzer is the Director of Science for The Nature Conservancy in Nebraska. His main role is to evaluate and capture lessons from the Conservancy’s land management and restoration work and then share those lessons with other landowners – both private and public. In addition, Chris works to raise awareness about the importance of prairies and their conservation through his writing, photography, and presentations to various groups. Chris is also the author of "The Ecology and Management of Prairies in the Central United States", published by the University of Iowa Press. He lives in Aurora, Nebraska with his wife Kim and their children.
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