I see a fair bit of wildlife during my hikes, but for some reason I rather like the skinks. There is this one location just north of Lake Hope in which I seem to have more luck seeing them.
Here is a photo I took last May (cell phone photo; sorry it’s not better):
That is a Five-Lined Skink (Eumeces fasciatus). In fact, we can tell that it is a juvenile five-lined skink, because of the blue tail, which is even more spectacular in person.
On that hike, I also came across a Black Rat Snake (Elaphe obsoleta) just east of Lake Hope, and managed to take this picture (again, cell phone):
The black rat snake is the largest snake in Ohio (even though this one was a rather small one), and it is also the one I spot most often, maybe because it is so large. One other time, this time on the west side of Lake Hope, I was walking along when I suddenly thought I heard rattling, as from a rattlesnake. Nope, it was a black rat snake vibrating its tail in the leaves, which is a common behavior for them.