Did you know that when some snakes emerge from hibernation that they may be lighter in color?
This can be caused by being buried in mud and sediments and also a lack of sunlight. Compare the pictures of these two Northern Water Snakes (Nerodia s. sipedon).
The light colored one had just emerged in early Spring last year, the darker one was found in later summer. There is a great deal of color variation in water snakes, and unfortunately they are often mistaken for copperheads which are not as commonly seen around the Smithsonian Education and Research Center in Edgewater, MD, USA.
Remember, Spring is coming and so are our beneficial friends the water snakes (really, they only eat fish and eels) so keep an eye out for them along the docks and watersides of SERC.