Critters of the Elms

Redbellied Snake Oct. 2013

This is a redbellied snake found by enthusiastic 3rd grades while hiking to our vernal pools at Elms. They are most common in or around the margins of wetlands.

They can be 4 - 10 in (10 - 25 cm) long and their color is variable but you will know one when you see one because of the diagnostic orange to red underbelly.

They feed nearly exclusively on slugs.

Large Male Bull Frog March 2013

It took some sharp eyes to spot this bull frog that was almost entirely concealed by leaves and pine needles. It snuggled down in the mud because the previous night had near freezing temperatures and frogs don’t have fur to keep them warm. It was discovered by Mrs. Lee and her 1st grade class not far from the vernal pools at Elms. I think the students were surprised by the size of him.

Want to learn more about hibernating frogs?

Can you spot the frog?




Bluebird eggs 2012

Five bluebird eggs found in abandoned nest box at Elms May 31, 2012.

We do not know why these eggs were abandoned. Did something scare her away? We do know however, that bluebirds can have two to four broods a year. So, she probably stared another nest elsewhere. Bluebirds typically nest between March and August here in the Northeastern United States.

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The Elms Environmental Education Center is the home of Environmental Education for St. Mary's County Public Schools.

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