June 3, 2009
- Family Fun
- Upcoming DEC Events
- Hudson Valley - Stony Kill Farm Environmental Education Center and Tivoli Bays Visitors Center
- Capital District - Five Rivers Environmental Education Center and Albany Pine Bush Discovery Center
- Adirondacks - Adirondack Park Agency Visitors Interpretive Centers at Newcomb and Paul Smiths
- Central New York - Rogers Environmental Education Center
- Western New York - Reinstein Woods Environmental Education Center
Often feared, snakes are legless reptiles whose long, flexible bodies are covered with scales. The scales can either be smooth or can contain a ridge that gives the snake a rough appearance. They are found in forests, gardens, rocky areas, deserts, water, islands -everywhere in the world but Antarctica. Snakes move quickly and quietly across both land and water by using their bodies in a special way called lateral undulation in which the snake's body flexes to the left and to the right.
Snakes are carnivorous and swallow their prey whole. Depending on the species, they will dine on everything from earthworms, slugs and insects to small birds, mammals, frogs, salamanders, fish and even other snakes. While most of New York's snake species kill prey by seizing them with their jaws and swallowing them whole, a few species, such as the black rat snake and milk snake, may kill by wrapping their body around the prey to constrict it. Virtually all of New York's snake species are harmless to humans and many are beneficial. If you encounter a snake, just let it be-even nonpoisonous snakes bite!
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A Field Guide to Snakes
In New York State, there are 17 species of snakes-three are venomous, most snakes are rarely seen. If you want to know more about snakes, you can create your own field guide. Using DEC's brochures "Snakes" and "Lesser-known Snakes" along with books from the library, look up a variety of different snakes. In a notebook, write down as much as possible about each species: its physical characteristics, habitat, range, speed, size, prey, predators and behavior. You can even include a picture, drawing and piece of string that is the same length as the snake.
Now That's Cold
Snakes are ectothermic-often referred to as "cold-blooded"-and must control body temperature through environmental heat sources, such as basking in the sun for warmth. Get some pipe cleaners to serve as your "snakes." Wrap each around a separate thermometer as your "snake". Put one "snake" under a shady tree or bush, and another on top of some rocks in a sunny area. After 20 minutes, read the temperature on the thermometers. Which area would you like to be in if you were a snake that was looking to warm up?
Read Conservationist for Kids for more information and activities!
North Shore Family Fishing Clinic at Cedar Beach Pier, Mount Sinai
Saturday, June 8 from 4:00 PM to 7:00 PM
Kick off the summer with some saltwater fishing at the Cedar Beach Pier. Education stations begin the event and open fishing follows. Loaner rods and free bait are available at this event! For more information, please visit the I FISH NY website. Call 631-444-0283 to register. Space is limited to 50 participants.
Muller Pond Ramble
Saturday, June 6 at 10:00 AM
In honor of National Trails Day, enjoy a leisurely walk alongside a pond, through patches of woods and in open fields.
Life of the Hudson
Saturday, June 13 at 10:00 AM
Join a Stony Kill naturalist at Little Stony Pond in Cold Spring, and use a seine net to find out what's swimming in the river today. Call 845-831-8780 for directions.
Outdoors After School
Every Thursday from February 26 to June 18 from 3:30 PM to 5:00 PM
A nature walk for grade-school children and their caregivers. Each week will feature a different theme and habitat.
Saturday, June 6, 10:00 AM
Fun activities for the whole family to learn about New York State wildlife.
Friday, June 12, 7:00 PM
An evening walk to take a census of fireflies and learn about how we can help these magical beetles.
Saturday, June 13, 10:00 AM (inside program) and 2:00 PM (outside program)
Come and meet some snakes up close, both non-venomous and venomous (in locked boxes). Later, take a walk to look for non-venomous snakes at Five Rivers and learn their habits and about their habitats.
Discover the Pine Bush
Sunday, June 14 from 1:00 PM to 2:00 PM
Come join us on a journey to discover the Albany Pine Bush Preserve, the best example of an inland pine barrens. Call 518-456-0655 to register. Cost: $2.00/person, $5.00/family, children under 5 free.
Adirondack Park Agency Newcomb Visitors Center
A Day in the Garden
Saturday, June 13 from 1:00 PM to 2:00 PM
From snakes to toads, butterflies to hummingbirds, lots of critters make the garden their home.
Adirondack Park Agency Paul Smiths Visitors Center
Damselflies and Dragonflies
Saturday, June 13 from 12:30 PM to 4:00 PM
Kids are invited to join photographers Vici and Steve Diehl on a walk to show how to properly net dragonflies and damselflies, as well as identify, handle, photograph and release them. Call 518-327-3000 to register.
Bat Box Building
Saturday, June 6 at 7:00 PM
Bats are voracious insect eaters, catching hundreds of flying pests per hour. Build a bat box to take home. Bring a hammer. Cost: $10 for each bat box you plan to take home.
Advance registration is required. Call 716-683-5959.
National Trails Day Cleanup
Saturday, June 6 from 10:00 AM to 1:00 PM
Come volunteer for our annual National Trails Day cleanup. Scout groups, families and others are all invited to help get our trails ready for the summer. Bring a rake and wear appropriate clothing. Door prizes and lunch will be provided.
Saturday, June 13 at 10:30 AM
Dive into the world of aquatic organisms and see what is living in our ponds! For children ages 6 to 12; parent or guardian must attend.
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