Today (4/27) was one of the warmer days so far this year. I knew today could be a good day to find wildlife at the Scuppernong Springs Nature Trail. From the moment I stepped out of the car I knew it would be a good day on the trail. Almost immediately I heard the call of a couple Sandhill Cranes. As I was walking along the Marl Pits I saw two cranes taking off about 200 yards away. Shortly after that I discovered this Common Garter Snake along the large Marl Pit, and two Painted turtles in one of the smaller Marl Pits.
Here is a photo taken at the Marl Pit bridge facing East.
As I got down to the first Vernal Pond before the Indian Campground, I saw something move near my feet. I looked down and saw an amazing Eastern Hognose Snake. This snake is arguably the most unique snake in Wisconsin for many reasons. One of them being that it flattens its neck similar to a cobra.
I had heard that the Eastern Hognose Snake lived around the trail, but have never before seen one. It was hissing pretty loudly, though didn’t attempt to flee while I photographed it. Its important to say that all snakes at the Scuppernong Springs Nature Trail are harmless to people and most will do everything they can to avoid human contact.
Here are a couple of flowers (hepatica & marsh marigold) I found around the trail. Its nice to see color coming back!
A few more scenic photos:
There were a ton of birds at the Springs today. American Goldfinches, Red-winged Blackbirds, Red-Bellied Woodpeckers, and Warblers of all kinds. Between the old barn foundation and hotel site, I saw this Yellow-Rumped Warbler.
On the way out, I stopped to check the water level.
It was a fantastic day at the Springs and I hope to be back at least few more times this year. I love seeing the progression of the restoration project. Its nice to see the woodland areas looking more like woodlands and less like “buckthorn alleys”. I have to imagine even some animals will appreciate being able to navigate through the woods better. I unfortunately didn’t get to the new cutoff trail this time but I definitely plan on it this summer.
See you at The Springs!