“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Huntingdon in Huntingdon County, Pennsylvania — The American Northeast (Mid-Atlantic)

Northern Water Snakes

Greenwood Furnace State Park

Northern Water Snakes Marker image. Click for full size.
By Don Morfe, November 9, 2015
1. Northern Water Snakes Marker
Inscription. Look carefully! From April to October, you might spot Pennsylvania’s most common water snake. The non-venomous northern water snake likes to be close to water and good hiding places, like rocks, logs, and brush piles.

The northern water snake can be seen in a variety of colors. On some adults, the patterns can blend into the background color, making them appear completely black.

Nature’s Balance
Northern water snakes are important to the balance of nature because they eat small fish, frogs, toads, and crayfish and are food for other predators.

Mating Habits
Water snakes wrap their tails together when they mate. You might see this twist of snakes in or out of the water.

Mistaken Identity
Don’t confuse a harmless northern water snake with a venomous northern copperhead or eastern cottonmouth. Copperheads have obviously flatted, triangle-shaped heads. Don’t worry about eastern cottonmouths (also known as water moccasins)-they don’t live in Pennsylvania. The northern water snake may also be confused with the non-venomous eastern milk snake.

Venomous vs. Non-Venomous
Copperheads (and all other venomous snakes in Pennsylvania have vertical pupils like a cat’s eye. Our non-venomous snakes have round pupils like we do.

If You See a Snake
As with all wild animals, you

Northern Water Snakes Marker image. Click for full size.
By Don Morfe, November 9, 2015
2. Northern Water Snakes Marker
should never handle northern water snakes. Although they aren’t venomous, they will bite to defend themselves. Don’t hurt water snakes and they won’t hurt you!

I Spy..Slithering Snakes
You might see snakes:
*Basking in the sun to raise their body temperature in spring and fall. In summer, cold-blooded snakes prefer the shade so they don’t overheat.
*Growing from the length of six to ten inches when they’re born in July and August, to two to three feet as adults.
*Hunting by pursuing their prey in the winter, under rocks and through crevices, then swallowing it head first.
Erected by Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources.
Location. 40° 39.013′ N, 77° 45.44′ W. Marker is in Huntingdon, Pennsylvania, in Huntingdon County. Marker is on Greenwood Road (PA 305). Touch for map. This marker is on the grounds of the Greenwood Furnace State Park. Marker is in this post office area: Huntingdon PA 16652, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Greenwood Furnace (about 400 feet away, measured in a direct line); Blacksmith & Wagon Shop (about 800 feet away); From Mineral To Metal (approx. ¼ mile away); An Undeniable Presence (approx. ¼ mile away); An Industry in Ruins (approx. ¼ mile away); The “Best” Iron (approx. ¼ mile away); Basic Ingredients (approx. ¼ mile away); The Worker’s Pyramid (approx. ¼ mile away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Huntingdon.
Categories. Animals

Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on November 21, 2015, by Don Morfe of Baltimore, Maryland. This page has been viewed 153 times since then and 17 times this year. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on November 21, 2015, by Don Morfe of Baltimore, Maryland. • Bill Pfingsten was the editor who published this page.
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