A Snake Story

Written by Tory Bahe
    Thursday, 17 October 2019
A Snake Story

I stopped to talk to Carol, the Tuesday afternoon receptionist at Riverside Park, on my way in from teaching. Carol is so lovely; I’ve really enjoyed getting know her over the years via a mutual love of reading and traveling, and I always look forward to our Tuesday chats.

Today she offered to lend me a great book she’d just finished and I told her about the snake I’d found on a hike this afternoon. After I returned to my office, the phone started ringing.

“Tory, there’s a snake at the desk.” At first I thought she was kidding, but the tone of her voice told me it was definitely not a joke.

“A snake? By your desk?”


“Ok, I’m on my way up.”

I got back to the front desk and saw the tiniest of brown snakes on the floor by the front desk. I scooped up the little cutie (and proceeded to show it off around the office, because who doesn’t love a cute snake in the office??) Carol wondered aloud how this got inside: maybe nestled in the pant leg of an educator, or perhaps quickly sneaking inside an open door to find a warm spot on a chilly day. Its camouflage game is pretty strong, so who knows!


The 3” DeKay’s Brownsnake that found its way into the Urban Ecology Center at Riverside Park (with our amazing receptionist volunteer Carol in the background!)

Ethan and Maggie—2/3rds of our fab Research Team—happened by at just that moment. After ooing and ahing over just how adorable my new snake friend was, they suggested a perfect spot to release in the park near other late-season snake sightings (and therefore likely near a potential hibernaculum). I took a short walk into Riverside Park and released the young snake; I hope to see it again next spring!


Tory Bahe

Tory Bahe

Tory Bahe is an Environmental Educator at our Washington Park branch.


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