Biodiversity in Your Backyard

Spring has sprung in New England, and our residential site at Camp Cody, right on the shores of Lake Ossipee, is bursting with life.  From song birds in the trees to salamanders in the ground, it’s hard to turn the corner without finding something new and amazing. Here are some examples of the incredible species of life we have found over the past few weeks:

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This ringneck snake was found underneath a board sitting on the ground.  It is a small snake, barely six inches long. It has a bright yellow ring around its neck, just behind its head (hence its name).  The ringneck snake is slightly venomous. However, it is an incredibly shy snake, and its fangs are angled backwards, meaning that is poses no threat to humans.  When threatened, they often roll up into tight coils, exposing their bright yellow and orange bellies. Their range is expansive, extending from southeastern Canada all the way down to Mexico.  They live in a variety of habitats, anywhere that they can find objects on the ground to hide under. Though they can be commonly found, their actual abundance is unknown due to a lack of research.

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This spider is called a fishing spider.  This specimen was found on the edge of a small pool in the woods behind camp.  All fishing spiders are semi-aquatic, meaning that they do spend at least some time on and around water.  To hunt, they will wait at the edge of a body of water. When they detect ripples of movement at the water’s surface, they will run across the water and subdue their prey.

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This is an example of a fungi.  Fungi, such as mushrooms, are decomposers, meaning that they live and thrive of dead and decomposing materials.  This is why they are often found grown out of dead logs and trees, or on ground that is covered with old and dead leaves.




Lastly, here is a time-lapse video of very shy land-snail:

The entire country is bursting with life right now.  What can you find in your backyard?