Matty holds his first snake of the season, a Queen Snake (Regina septemvittata). This is the earliest we've ever seen a Queen Snake out and about in the water. (These photos aren't bad! Kedar took them using Matty's iPhone. Matty definitely has a little me in him. He knew I'd want a few photos for the blog..)
Queen Snakes are aquatic and nonvenomous. Matty and Kedar found this snake by flipping rocks in the stream. Queen snakes are dark brown or olive on top with a yellow or honey-colored stripe along their sides. Underneath, they have a pair of dark stripes on their belly. The belly stripes are diagnostic and make it easy to distinguish them from garter snakes.
...a one-second video of Matty holding "Regina" the Queen Snake (it was one of those you think you're going to take a photo, but the video was left on videos). I wish they had taken an actual video. I love watching the snake's movement.