Enemies In The Same Space

During the last few weeks, our science class went out to do an experiment where we collect worms by using mustard water to coaxed them out. While doing this we went into the hardwood are behind WCC and found the smallish ponds that are located there. As we went deeper into the pond/swamp area, we were surprised to find both a snapping turtle and a water snake almost 3 feet apart from each other.

As my group went up to the ponds, near the hardwood forest of WCC’s campus, we were scared by a medium dark colored snake that sped its way right into us, then slithered past into one of the ponds. The snake was a blackish blueish color in the sun, and was big. When the snake had left and we were done laughing at how scared we were, I started to wonder why it was so far away from the pond and what it was doing? After said experience, we left to go further into the pond area, and found many tiny frogs littering the path and area around it. I wondered if the snake was feeding off of them.

When researching the website DNR said that water snakes eat frogs and fish, so the water snake could have been eating the tiny baby frogs on the ground. DNR also said that they go to lay their eggs in the summer in stumps and moist soil. The snake was quite big, so it might have been a female, considering the fact that the males are significantly smaller than the female water snakes (Michigan society of Herpetologists). Water snakes are very common in Michigan and in northern areas and live in areas that have ponds and are more swamp like. (Michigan Society of Herpetologists). The pond area at WCC is very similar to the area where they are most commonly seen.

Another thing we found was a giant snapping turtle waiting a few feet away from the pond. The turtle had a darker color shell with a lighter color skin. What I found weird was that water snakes don’t like snapping turtles and are one of their enemies. The water snake we found was almost 3 feet away from the snapping turtle. After seeing him, I guessed that the water snake was trying to avoid the turtle or didn’t see him.