Shawnee State Park was working at the Nature Center from noon to 3:00. What a wonderful place. Jenny has turned the cozy A-Frame building into Nature Learning Central. She has books, posters, activities, frogs, bugs, bird nests, and snakes! All but two of her snakes are native to Ohio. One that isn't native is Pumpkin, the albino corn snake. Corn snakes are close relatives to Black Rat Snakes, which are native to Ohio, and therefore shares his digs with Steve, the Black Rat Snake (more on that sweety later).
Look at that beautiful red albino eye. If you look closely, you can see his pupil is round. A round pupil lets you know he is not a venomous snake. Venomous Snakes, such as the Timber Rattlesnake, Northern Copperhead, or Eastern Massasauga, have elliptical pupils. That's the sort of helpful information you learn when you visit Jenny's snakes!
...before working with Jenny at the nature center I wasn't a particularly "snakey" kind of girl, but after learning about all of our native snakes and handling all the sweeties at the nature center, I think I actually might fall into the "snakey" category now. I had no idea going into the week how much I would learn to love and appreciate snakes, and how much I would learn about them.
Anna, Kayla and Matty and I each took a snake out to play in the rain. The snakes love feeling the rain falling on them as much as we did. It was hot out, and the rain felt great. Pumpkin was content to rest on Matty's shoulders.
...sometimes Pumpkin would just curl up and go to sleep in your arms. Here he's resting around Matty's neck, curled in around his shirt.
Pumpkin is a corn snake, and corn snakes are constrictors, but they eat rodents and lizards and other small things, so we didn't have to worry about him trying to constrict around our necks. If you look in the background, you can see posters of birds and butterflies. Jenny's walls are covered with information on the natural world. Kids love it there!