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2019 is the Year of the SNAKE!

Keep an eye out for snake programs on our program calendar 
throughout the rest of 2019.

As we finish up the year, let's learn a little bit about what snakes do when it gets cold outside

When people think about animals in the winter they often think about hibernation. While this is the case with many mammals, reptiles like snakes don't hibernate. Instead they do something called brumation. What is brumation and how does it differ to hibernation? Watch this short video to find out:

So, where do snakes go to brumate? They will go as far underground as possible to get below the freeze line. This could be under a log, in a cave, or even sometimes in man-made holes like wells. One common misconception is that snakes make holes or dens. If you think about it, how could a snake dig a hole? They can't. When people see snakes in holes it's because they have taken over a hole made by another animal like a rodent. The places where snakes go to brumate are call hibernaculums. Some snake species share hibernaculums with many other snakes. You can provide reptiles with a hibernaculum in your very own yard. Here's how:
Exclusive Junior Ranger Sneak Peak!
While it hasn't been announced to the public, as a Junior Ranger you get access to special sneak peaks. Next year's annual theme?
Or more specifically, controlled burns.
Here's next year's bandana. Get it at a park office near you in 2020:
Craft Corner
3D Paper Snowflake
This paper snowflake is a lot easier to make than you'd think!
One of the first parks to see any signs of winter weather is Mount Mitchell State Park. Besides holding the record of being the highest point east of the Mississippi river, it also holds the record for the coldest day in NC (-34 degrees, on Jan. 21, 1985) and the most snowfall in one day (36 inches on March 13, 1993). Here are some fun park facts that you can enjoy this winter while winter weather may make it impossible for you to visit the park:
This Past Season's Podcasts:

Exploring Park Ranger Careers in State and National Parks
We sat down with Ranger Austin Paul who has been fortunate enough to have experienced being a park ranger in both state parks and national parks. He takes us on the journey that led him to both state parks and national parks, as well as some of the similarities and differences between state and national parks.

A Hike at Franklin Mountains State Park, El Paso, Texas
Yay! Another episode with Lydia Pagel from Franklin Mountain State Park in El Paso, Texas. In this episode, Ranger Jess gets to tap into her inner 7-year-old and ask Ranger Lydia Pagel, "What's that? What's this?" all the way up the mountain. We find out how Franklin Mountain State Park is like our very own Mount Mitchell State Park, how some of the different flora you will find on this mountain compares to ones on our mountains, and how little herds of tiny hippo-related mammals inhabit Franklin Mountain as their home.

Hemlocks at Hanging Rock State Park with Ranger Mary
How can an insect no bigger than the period at the end of a sentence take down an entire tree? We sit down with Ranger Mary Griffin from Hanging Rock State Park to find out.

Prehistoric Mammals
We sit down with Dr. Kammerer from the NC Museum of Natural Sciences and explore what prehistoric mammals roamed North Carolina BEFORE the age of dinosaurs.

Edible Plants
In this episode of Ask a Ranger, we sit down with Ranger Neil who will chat with us about edible plants. Disclaimer: This episode is intended as a brief introduction to edible plants. We do not advise anyone to go out and try plant life without proper and intensive education and technical ID knowledge of plant life.


Check out the Ask A Ranger Podcast, here!
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North Carolina State Parks
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Junior Ranger Newsletter

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North Carolina State Parks 
12700 Bayleaf Church Road
Raleigh, NC  27614

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