This past weekend, I came across four blue racer snakes while I was hiking.
They are one of my favorite snake species to encounter.
The rain and cool temps have kept them curled up and fairly inactive, which was to my benefit.
In Illinois, they seem to occur or have occurred almost everywhere, but I do not see them enough to call them common like you would a garter or brown snake.
I might see a dozen blue racers throughout the year, if I am lucky.
The blue racer can get several feet long with light to dark blue hues across their body.
They usually have dark bands that stretch behind their eyes, which makes them look like a superhero.
Like the blue racer name suggests, they are fast and agile in the vegetation.
Most of the time, I only see a glimpse of them before they are out of sight.
All my personal encounters with the blue racer snake have taken place in prairies or very open savannas.
I think of them as being in drier habitats, but that might not always be true.
I have followed a few that have ducked down into small mammal burrows and one that went inside a large prairie anthill.
Given its size and color, the only snake they might be confused with is a rat snake, but those are even rarer in our region.