Photos by Ross Corsair (click to enlarge)
Lisa Mechaley led a hike in Philipstown for the Putnam Highlands Audubon Society on April 9, playing nature games along the way. At one stop she handed paint swatches to the children and asked them to find the same color in nature.
A close-up of a creek on the hike.
black northern water snake emerges from its winter den.
Mechaley showed children a safe way to observe nature from a bridge with no railing. Instead of standing at the edge, she had them lie down and peer over the edge.
I believe the snake you identified as a “black snake” is actually a water snake.
You’re right, according to Peter Ducey of the Department of Biological Sciences at SUNY Cortland, who operates the Cortland Herpetology Connection. Based on its scales, eye shape, head position and color, he said it appears to be a northern water snake (Nerodia sipedon). I have corrected this in text.