Cedar Valley Arboretum & Botanic Gardens

So long, Jake!

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Yesterday morning I said goodbye to Jake for another year.  For those of you who don’t know, Jake is the Arboretum’s resident corn snake who lives in the Education Center each summer and then spends the school year in Mr. Hall’s third grade class at Orange Elementary.  Students come back tomorrow, so it was time for Jake to get back into the classroom and prepare!

Jake’s main responsibility is to greet kids that pass through the Education Center throughout the summer.  Especially on Wednesday mornings, that is a full time job!  The photo on the left is during our weekly story time – Jake is fed two mice after story time and the kids LOVE to watch.

The photo on the right (sorry for the low quality – taken on my phone) is a close-up of Jake getting his back to school check-up from Dr. Jeff Tamplin.  Jeff is a professor in biology at University of Northern Iowa and was gracious enough to come out and clean Jake’s cage as well as teach me a bit about corn snakes.  Do you need an advanced degree to clean a snake cage?  Definitely not.  I really only like to see Jake from afar so I jumped on Jeff’s cleaning offer.  🙂

As well as housing Jake, the Education Center is open to the public when staff is on site.  The bookshelves on the east wall hold a collection of fun youth books as well as a huge collection of gardening books for adults.  Visitors are welcome to sit in the Education Center and read to their heart’s content!  I encourage you to stop out this week to check it out!

See you in the gardens.

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Written by cedarvalleyarboretum

August 17, 2011 at 6:00 am

Posted in Uncategorized

One Response

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  1. Your own “summer resident snake.” What a great way to expose children and adults to a friendly snake! Just wish I didn’t live so far away. That may be lucky for you. If your gardens were handy, I’d be wandering through all the time. My favorite summer activity this summer was exploring the U.S. Botanic Garden. And you know I am a “lover of gardens.” Maybe I can sneak in a visit yet this fall to your wonderful gardens.

    Eleanor Jane Roquet

    August 17, 2011 at 1:46 pm


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