Here’s my latest nature story in the Chicago Tribune.
Dozens of snakes slumbering the winter away underneath abandoned railroad tracks faced a wake-up call that could have proved fatal.
A construction crew was preparing to repair the tracks near the decommissioned Zion Nuclear Power Station — work that would have disrupted their hibernation and exposed them to the frigid cold of a winter’s morning.
But thanks to two biologists and a schoolteacher with a warm spot for reptiles, nearly 200 garter, brown and western fox snakes have a new temporary home — a 6-foot-tall wine chiller in Lake Forest. The snakes now occupy the dark cool spaces usually reserved for fine chardonnays and cabernets.
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