Not long ago, I interviewed a biologist named Pat Spain, the host of the show “Beast Hunter” on the National Geographic channel. An avid naturalist, he mentioned that he also does a web-based program called “Nature Calls,” which includes cataloguing every snake in the state of Massachusetts.
I was doing the interview by phone from Martha’s Vineyard and said, “I know where you can find a black racer.” It’s a species that’s relatively common in the wetlands Up-island where I rent a summer house: a large but harmless black snake that can grow to five or six feet.
“Really?” he said. “That’s one I’ve been worried about finding.”
At this point, if you’re one of those people who are creeped out by snakes, you’re probably saying, “Why in Christ’s name would anyone go looking for one?” and you’ll probably stop reading right about here. For the other three of you, you may enjoy this. … read more