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Mr. GreenJeans


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Posted by Gardner Beasley on January 05, 1998 at 23:53:38:

I work summers at a Boy Scout Camp in Southern Illinois. I'm the aquatics director, and I make it a habit to have one or two (or three or more) snakes down on the waterfront. I even let my Albino Burm go for a swim with the scouts one day :) It makes for a great educational experience. Anyway, I never have a shortage of "rookies" volunteering to "help" me out on snake hunts. I usually decline, but tell them, "If you see a snake, holler." One bright day, one of my lifeguards came running down to the beach with a crowd around him. I knew he had caught something that had the rest of the camp excited. He proudly displayed his forearm, about which was wrapped what I at first believed to be a huge 4-foot rough green snake. I didn't even think to look for the keeled scales for better ID. It seemed obvious-big-but obvious. It had latched on to his forearm and wrapped around its head, and wasn't letting go, so all I could see was the body. The lifeguard was okay, he even seemed a bit proud that he'd brought me "the first snake of camp", so we proceeded to unwind this find. When the head came around, I almost fell over. It was a big Olivine Phase Prairie King. I mean this snake looked (just the body) like a neon green monster rough green snake. I was shocked. We kept it down on display until the end of camp and then I released it. I've since learned that collecting is OK on the camp, and I've been looking for it (or its offspring) ever since. Man, that snake was a beauty!



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