This was a gigantic Black Rat Snake! It was crossing the road and I jumped out and took its picture. It didn’t take too kindly and started rattling its tail in dry leaves to make me think it was a rattler. You can’t fool me with that trick, buddy! Although I did keep my distance because about a month ago I was walking on a trail and saw a coiled up rat snake. It also rattled its tail to warn me off, but I learned down to take its picture and it lunged at me. I jumped back and let it go its way without taking its picture. They can be jerks…Pantherophis obsoletus

This is a little baby Northern Water Snake. This picture was taken in June 2013 and the lake shore was full of them. Since they are ovoviviparous they give live birth, so mama water snake must have just had her brood not too long before. I have no problem picking them up, but I was told after this picture was taken that they might bite repeatedly if they feel threatened. Nerodia sipedon

This is not an alien life form, this is a Bryozoan also called a “moss animal”. They are filter feeders and what you are seeing in this picture is actually a whole colony of them. They are related to coral and form this jelly like mass around structures in the water. They are pollution intolerant, so it is a good thing that they are found at Bear Creek Lake State Park! Pectinatella magnifica