I was working in a friend’s garden at his farm on Settlers Line near Keene this afternoon, June 4. I moved a plastic bag of manure I’d laid over another bag last fall and found a snake I’d never seen before, under the top bag. I’ve looked it up and it was a Red-bellied Snake (Storeria occipitomaculata). It was curled up when I found it, totally immobile. It was as thick as a pencil at its mid-point and was, I estimated, about 12″ long. It was a beautiful light brown with ridges of tiny white dots down its entire length. It had a very distinctive oval white mark at the nape of its neck. Its underside was a lightish, rose-red colour. It made no movement whatsoever while I was there. I had to get on with my work and when I came back to the spot 10 minutes later, it had gone. I see from Reptiles and Amphibians of Ontario that it’s fairly frequently seen – but this was a first for me.
Ron Mackay, Settlers Line