Follow in Nigel's Footsteps

Sunday, 10 September 2017

Generating Interest...

It's easy to question (and despair) where the next generation of naturalists will come from. There are exceptions out there but as a parent I can vouch for the fact that very few children (none in my sons primary school!) seem to have an interest in the natural world around them; they get their nose in an iPad and it can be a challenge to get them outside. So when my thirteen year old Goddaughter phoned me last night and asked if I could take her to see a snake, I jumped at the opportunity.

Luckily there's a reliable site close by for Grass Snakes Natrix helvetica, so we went there this morning to try our luck. She was not disappointed. Upon flipping the refuge we found a female Slow Worm Anguis fragilis and a good size male Grass Snake who was close to sloughing. Not wanting the  inevitable 'musking' to put her off, she donned a pair of disposable gloves and didn't hesitate to hold both the Slow Worm and the Grass Snake - perhaps there's some hope yet...

Handle with care. The first time my
Goddaughter held a Snake...and it
was her idea! 
Rightly pleased with herself - she was worried
She might have hurt the snake but it was
feigning death in the hope she'd leave it alone.
You see this behaviour often but certainly more frequently when
sloughing and they feel at their most vulnerable.
I look forward to showing her more next spring and hopefully kindling an interest that will last her a lifetime.

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