Society

Snakes alive! It’s a big Nature Fest

Rattling good time at park


Crowd of more than 150 packed the New Salem Clubhouse to hear about snakes, and experience some ‘up close and personal.’ 
Reporter/Mike Brown Crowd of more than 150 packed the New Salem Clubhouse to hear about snakes, and experience some ‘up close and personal.’ Reporter/Mike Brown Even the most ardent reptile fans might not have envisioned what species would be passionately defended Saturday in the showcase event of the fourth annual Milam County Nature Fest Saturday at Fair Park.

Fair play for coral snakes!

Tim Cole, owner of Austin reptile service, went to bat for one of Texas’s most famous venomous snakes during his presentation which packed the New Salem Clubhouse with more than 150 persons.

Cole told the groups that coral snakes have gotten a bad rap and that he didn’t like the “red and yellow, kill a fellow” that’s a part of many Texas children’s education.

“You’ve really got to work at being bit by a coral snake,” he said. “And even if you do, it’s rarely serious. In fact, no one has ever died from a coral snake bite in the state of Texas.”


Snake fanciers couldn’t get enough of Tim Cole’s presentation, lining up to see his collection at the conclusion of Saturday’s program. Cole (R) owns Austin Reptile Service, a conservation group. Snake fanciers couldn’t get enough of Tim Cole’s presentation, lining up to see his collection at the conclusion of Saturday’s program. Cole (R) owns Austin Reptile Service, a conservation group. Cole said he knew six persons who had sustained coral snake bites. “All six had been playing with it for an hour, all had misidentified it and none of them required the anti-venom.”

He noted the two-foot-long reptiles don’t even have “injection fangs” like rattlers but must work to make their venom travel down a groove in the snake’s tooth.

Obviously, you still need to stay away from them, as you would any poisonous snake.

His presentation included live displays of more than a dozen snakes, to the delight on the audience, many of whom lingered af terwards to see some of Cole’s collection.

It was part of two days of activities, both inside and outside. Nature Fest began with a movie on endangered species Friday evening and continued with a full day of fun on Saturday.

Snakes were the featured animal but there were plenty of other displays, including bees, butterf lies, crawdads feral hogs, backyard fishing, wildlife habitat improvement and children’s activities.

Winners from the Nature Fest photo contest are listed on page 6B.



From left, 14-year-old ‘Commander’ Ben Shraeder of Austin educates about invasive species moving into habitats of Texas native plants and animals, three-year-old Ethan Howell enjoys archaeological dig with mom, Honey Howell. From left, 14-year-old ‘Commander’ Ben Shraeder of Austin educates about invasive species moving into habitats of Texas native plants and animals, three-year-old Ethan Howell enjoys archaeological dig with mom, Honey Howell.


Above, a perfect spring day brought a large crowd to Fair Park for exhibits, all kinds of kids activities, presentations, demon strations, lectures and, above all, nature. At right, three-year-old Jaylee Lugo gets her face painted. Above, a perfect spring day brought a large crowd to Fair Park for exhibits, all kinds of kids activities, presentations, demon strations, lectures and, above all, nature. At right, three-year-old Jaylee Lugo gets her face painted.

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2013-04-18 digital edition



The burn ban for Milam County has been lifted. Burning is always prohibited in the county's municipalities.


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