On Oct 10th, probably my last day in the field for the season, I was super fortunate to find while surveying for species at risk, two threatened massasauga rattlesnakes within 10m of each other!
The massasauga rattlesnake can be easily identifiable if you know the features. It can be mistaken with a few other species here in Ontario. First off massy's are not very long snakes, they can only get up to 75cm long, but they do have thick bodies. Their blotches are also a key identifier. Unlike similar looking species their blotches pinch over the spine to create bowtie shaped blotches. Venomous snakes also often have wider heads as their cheeks house their venom glads. Species easily mistaken in Ontario are the milksnake and eastern foxsnake. Check out the Ontario Reptile and Amphibian Atlas to better compare!
Massy's being the only venomous snake in Ontario, it is often given the bad reputation of being 'dangerous' but when really it is more just miss understood. If a massy even decides to strike, the individual will choose whether it injects venom or not. If you also give them good distance and wear proper hiking boots and long pants while working or exploring near their habitat you will be out of harms way. As it's name implies, the massy has a rattle at the end of their tail and they will often let you know when you are close. That is actually how we found both the massy's on our survey. They rattle their tail letting you know they are there and to leave them alone. Once you hear a rattle it's best to stop and look around your surroundings to find the individual. Once you spot it, admire its beauty from afar and then walk around giving it lots of space. If you can't see it, then it's best to back away you came to keep safe. The last recorded death from a massy bite was over 55 years ago and roughly ten people a year get bitten. And often the people that are bitten are young males usually under the influence that try to pick these beauties up. So if you avoid obvious errors like that you will be safe.
This research being conducted through the Saving Turtles at Risk Today Project with @scales_nature_park and @cwf_fcf
Wool is so iconic to Iceland. While visiting the historic site and recreation of Eiríksstaðir, the home of famous Viking Eirik the Red and childhood home of Leif Erickson, we were given quite a lesson on the history and process of this beautiful wool!
Fell in love at work on Friday 😍 Spent the afternoon in lab processing insect samples from @uofguelph ‘s pollinator bio-monitoring program, came across this lovely Cuckoo wasp (family Chysididae)! Wasn’t a bee, but he sure was BEE-utiful 💕 🐝
Hands up if you’re a wild child 🙌
Yewww!!! Who needs a mechanical bull anyways when you’ve got a tender out on the open ocean?! 🌊🐋
How we spend our time is a reflection of what we value in life. Are you filling your days with experiences and positive energy that you can give back?
Who is the wild child in your life inspiring you to do more of what your heart wants?! Show them some love and tag them below 👇
📸 by fellow wild child @michellevalbergphotography.
Four-toed salamander (Hemidactylium scutatum) - This little dude is the only terrestrial salamander that has four toes on its hind feet (hence the name). He also has a white belly with black spots and a noticable constriction at the base of the tail (which he can detach).
No salamanders were harmed in the taking of this picture 👍
The more you know 🌎🐸
This is a Northern Fulmar. While exploring some cliffs, created bit fissures in coastal southeast Iceland, we came across these awesome birds that were doing laps and riding a wind tunnel through the fissure. It was amazing watching these guys with quirky personalities for and hour or so. Making eye contact as the rode the wind like a ramp up the cliffs!