You don’t see these very often in the wilds of Michigan – Coluber constrictor foxi – otherwise known as the Blue Racer, but a few of us did today while hiking on the North Country National Scenic Trail.
The encounter was a curious one. Three of us stared intently at it while it stared back at us, coiled in the high grass, flicking its tongue. It’s a beautiful snake, without question, non-venomous, but aggressive when cornered. We didn’t give an opportunity to prove it could retaliate with a nasty bite.
I’ve often thought about them having experienced one in close proximity as a child camping with other kids at summer camp. That snake slithered into our old canvas pup-tent and scared the hell out of of us. Seeing it in the wild today brought back fond memories, of scrambling, screaming kids uncertain about whether to run or try to catch it.
A Michigan DNR map showing where they have been seen in Michigan identifies only nine locations, though they were once more common.