“more snakes at a glance than anywhere else in the world”
Here in the Interlake area that you can see more snakes at a glance than anywhere else in the world. For two brief periods each year tens of thousands of red-sided garter snakes congregate at the surface of their winter dens. Beginning with the first few warm days of spring, garter snakes emerge from these dens and gather in large numbers to perform a fascinating mating ritual. Following a two to three week frenzy of mating activity, snakes disperse to nearby marshes for the summer. By early fall they return to their dens, wintering in fissures and crevasses of the limestone bedrock below the frozen ground. The Narcisse Snake Dens are operated by the Manitoba Wildlife Branch and can be visited. The activity level of the snake dens is posted every few days during the spring and fall. Check the status when planning your trip to Narcisse. Spring: The latter part of April and first three weeks in May is generally the best time to visit the Narcisse Snake Dens. During this period snakes are preoccupied with mating and are easily viewed by visitors. The greatest activity tends to coincide with the Mother's Day weekend. Fall: Garter snakes return to their dens in early September. Once there, they remain active and visible to visitors until cool, wet autumn weather forces them underground. Fall viewing of snakes is best during warm sunny days.
The mating ritual begins during spring and lasts 2-3 weeks. The snakes then scamper away to nearby marshes and in fall they return to their dens of fear "wintering in fissures and crevasses of the limestone bedrock below the frozen ground."
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