A beauty of a snake

The Blue Racer is a fast, curious and non-venomous snake found in Michigan. snake  Photo: Howard Meyerson.

The Blue Racer is a fast, curious and non-venomous snake found in Michigan. Photo: Howard Meyerson.

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.

About Howard Meyerson

After more than 30 years in the outdoor writing business, you would think I'd know better.
This entry was posted in Uncategorized and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

10 Responses to A beauty of a snake

  1. mfs686 says:

    Same thing happened to me in scouts. He went a little further though, not only did he slither into my tent he joined me in my sleeping bag.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Charles Vannettte says:

    Glad you enjoyed the trail !


  3. Reblogged this on Get Outside Wisconsin! and commented:
    I’ve heard of these snakes, but never I’ve never seen one. Very pretty… in the right setting. Otherwise, I can see it scaring the bejeezus out of me!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Rick Plite says:

    wow, they used to be everywhere. I had no idea they were becoming rare. I saw two of the mating in Manistee Co last month. Still see them at Big M Ski Area near the lodge wood pile everytime I am up there. Let me know if you want the mating picture (R rated)

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Steven Gross says:

    Lets ad Ludington State Park to the list of locations for the Blue Racer… I have a shot of one I tried to upload… What a beautiful creature. In the 60’s I captured a huge blue racer which soon laid eggs that eventually hatched. The neighborhood loved it when I released them too.
    I would often take my many snakes out to feed them in my yard which brought all the kids over to watch… Boyhood rocked!


  6. Got it, Steven. Thanks for your comment. Agreed about boyhood. Fun times.


Leave a Reply to Howard Meyerson Cancel reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s