Presentation on snakes is Wednesday

Published 9:30 am Thursday, March 9, 2017

“Snakes in the Heart of Virginia,” a free and informative program open to the public, will be held at the Farmville-Prince Edward Community Library on Wednesday at 6 p.m.

Mike Clifford, educational chair and past-president of the Virginia Herpetological Society, will be the presenter.

“Spring is a wonderful time of the year when gardeners break ground, hikers head for their favorite trails and snakes end their winter hibernation. If hearing the ‘S’ word — not Spring but the other one — makes you shudder or look for the garden hoe, you are not alone,” event organizers said. “The Central Piedmont Chapter of Virginia Master Naturalists wants to help allay the fear and misconceptions synonymous with these slithering but not slimy reptiles by offering an educational presentation. …”

Clifford, who worked for 32 years as a Virginia Tech Extension/4-H Agent in Amelia and Nottoway counties, is co-author of “Snakes of Virginia,” event organizers said.

“His extensive knowledge of snakes coupled with his years of experience working in this area and his continued efforts with the Virginia 4-H Natural Resources and Environmental Education Curriculum make him a valued and respected presenter.”

“Virginia’s Piedmont is home to over 20 species of native snakes — most of which are harmless to humans and pets. While some are brightly colored, others are masters of camouflage. Although snakes oftentimes generate fear, they also spur our curiosity and amazement. Moreover, they help control rodent and invertebrate pests, and snakes are important members of our natural ecosystems,” organizers said.

“This herpetological presentation will feature colorful slides, live specimens, replicas and other visuals to help enlighten its audience to understand, recognize and hopefully appreciate these misunderstood members of our natural fauna.”

“Please join us for this wonderful opportunity to learn about Central Piedmont’s snakes from our local expert,” shared JoAnn Jones, a member of the chapter. “Mike will have copies of his book available and refreshments will be served prior to the presentation.”