Experts predict that the annual winter emergence of snow snakes in Highland State Recreation Area in White Lake/Highland, Michigan to approach or exceed record numbers this year. Good snow fall amounts and low temperatures are conducive to excellent numbers within the parks' boundaries. National Weather Service forecasts include temperatures below freezing for several weeks leading up to the winter count at the Edsel Ford Barn within the Recreation Area. Haven Hill area hillsides, trails, lakes, fields, and forests are currently snow-covered and provide excellent locations for the colorful snakes. The Chief Pontiac Programs Committee of the Boy Scouts of America is organizing a Sunday, January 26 event, which is expected to attract a good number of snakes and participants this year. Friends of Highland Recreation Area volunteers help out with setting up the event and gathering data. "At last year's event we counted many beautiful snakes", said Jay Fitzgerald, Friends of Highland Rec volunteer at the event. "Most were 36 inches in length, although we had some even longer than that. And all had beautiful coloration", he said. "Some of these snakes move very fast, and if you're not watching closely one might go right by you as a blur of color before you even know it."
The 2014 Snow Snake event at the Edsel Ford Barn recreates the traditional Native American winter sport of "snowsnake". Children (and some adults) hurtle their hand-made wooden snakes down a track for maximum distance. Below are some photos from last year's event (January 2013).
More information regarding this year's Snow Snake activities can be found at the Chief Pontiac Programs Committee website. A flyer is also downloadable. Come on out to Highland State Recreation Area on Sunday, January 26, 2014 for some great snow snake viewing. Warm warm warm clothing is suggested of course, and a great spirit of enjoyment for cool winter activity! Seeing a snow snake is a truly rare and special experience!