Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Volunteering at Shawnee State Park

Matty and I are in for a big adventure this week. We are staying at Shawnee State Park in southeastern Ohio for a working vacation. We arrived yesterday and are volunteering all week...and we're doing real stuff too!! I hope to post something every night with highlights of what we accomplished that day. Today we worked at the Nature Center and played with snakes. Matty helped little kids learn how to hold the snakes, and I took photos. There is so much to write about, but it will have to wait. I'm exhausted. We are working with Jenny Richards, the most amazing naturalist ever! More to come on Jenny and Shawnee...and all the cool things you can do when you're a volunteer.


Mr. King was super sweet. He is a Black King Snake. We took him out in the rain to play, and he was in 7th Heaven. He looked very fetching on the wet railing.


Mr. King is just one of many snakes we worked with today. They were all cool, and they all loved to be held...and they all had amazing tongues!


...raindrops were falling on Mr. King's head...and mine, and Matty's...

The Nature Center at Shawnee State Park where Matthew Riccetti and Kelly Riccetti volunteered.
Jenny's Nature Center in the rain. There is sooooo much to say about all the naturalist programs Jenny runs at Shawnee. It's an amazing place...


Shawnee State Park is in Scioto county in Ohio. It is in the foothills of the Appalachian mountains and is beautiful. The park is 1,095 acres and is part of the 63,000-acre Shawnee State Forest.
...so much more to come...

31 comments:

Roy said...

Great shots of the snake. What kind is he?

Robin said...

Oooo, cool snake!
Great shots. Looking forward to more!

Garden Lily said...

Hmmm, I hadn't imagined that snakes would like to be held. But then I didn't know rats would make a wonderful pet, and now we have 3 of them! What an attractive snake!

Jayne said...

What a fun sounding vacation! Can't wait to see and hear about everything else you get to experience there.

holdingmoments said...

Sounds like you are both having a great time Kelly.
Love that last shot of Steve and the raindrops.

rebeccainthewoods said...

What kind of snake is that? We have a pair of corn snakes we let kids handle here and they, too, love to be held - giving snake talks to students in one of my absolute favorite parts of my job. When I was a kid a naturalist visiting my school described the feeling of holding a snake as "like a bicycle tire filled with mashed potatoes," and I love repeating that phrase when I give snake talks now just to see the reactions from the kids. Usually they think I'm crazy. :)

Montanagirl said...

Wow - nice shots of the snake. Sounds like you're having a blast. Can't wait to see and read more.

grammie g said...

I am glad you had a great day at Shawnee State Park.....but I don't do snakes very well ...happy for you though!! ; }

Out on the prairie said...

Think this will be an experience of a lifetime. I like the post and a snake named Steve.Give yourself a pat on the back.
Steve.

√ Abraham Lincoln said...

You must have had a ball. And Steve looks great too.

I have not been to Shawnee State Park in a blue moon. Think the last time was in 1960 or there abouts. There was just this plain lake when you came down out of the forest. Across the road. No places to stay. I used to drive down on Saturday mornings when it was dark and get there about daylight time. I saw gobs of deer and that was my goal. To see how close they would come to me or how close I could get to them.

I was eventually able to walk to a ridge where they cross each day and wait and have them walk within two or three feet and never see me, nor smell me. I could see their eye lashes and their nostrils swell as they breathed. It wasn't something I was able to do without a lot of work on my part.

I had to dress for the role so to speak and I have stood there during hunting season and have hunters walk right beside me and never knew I was there. Amazing.

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Jeni said...

Ok - I don't like snakes but your pictures are fabulous!

P.S. Is it coincidence that my ex-husband and this snake share the same first name??

Betsy from Tennessee said...

Wow Kelly... What a neat place to go... I'd love to visit that state park sometime. Are there any waterfalls nearby?????

Hope you and Matty have a wonderful week. Sounds like you will. Even though I'm not a 'snake' person, I love the pictures...

Have fun.
Hugs,
Betsy

Heather said...

Kelly, I can't wait to hear about the great adventures that you and Matty will have at Shawnee! Have tons of fun!!!

Warren Baker said...

Well done to you and yours for voluteering to help out.

You'll get tired - but it's a nice tired :-)

Wanda..... said...

Steve is a beautiful Snake!
Loved the detail of the raindrops!

laubaine said...

impressionnant

Gaina said...

LOL I love the idea of taking a snake 'out to play'. He's gorgeous :)

Hope you enjoy your adventure :D.

Cherrie said...

Great pictures!

Ken Browne. said...

Hi Kelly.
They are great photo's of the snake, but I have one question, what sort of name is Steve for a snake? HaHa

Allison said...

Wow!! The closeup with the rain drops is amazing! Icky tongue, though. (shiver)

Eve said...

OH Kelly! I love Mr King!!! I have one here but have not tried to tame him. I just keep him around for good luck. Your photos are stunning!

Greener Bangalore said...

Stunning Stunning Stunning! Kelly

JKoenig said...

You know, snakes are not one of my favorite things.....but you have to admit, he is beautiful....I'm just glad he is on the other side of my computer screen.

I like the way you took his picture!

Jenny said...

WOW! A great adventure indeed! Can hardly wait for more Kelly! Mr King is very handsome. Love the one with rain drops on his head.

sebi_2569 said...

superb

Sara-Bellum said...

I am jealous! When Paul gets older we are definitely going to do something like that.

Anna said...

Kelly good luck with your volunteering, sounds like fun. Snakes, ouch, my sister likes them, have them and I don't really like them, but you have captured some amazing images of the snakes. Enjoy your summer. Anna :)

Appalachian Lady said...

I have always had a good time with volunteer work--especially working with children. I still can't handle snakes though. Good that your husband can. Great shots.

Alan said...

Sounds like your having a great time. Looking forward to reading more. BTW, great snake photos.

Adrienne in Ohio said...

What gorgeous shots of the snake. I love the one with the raindrops.

Sandy said...

wonderful photos!! I love these.