Today was a day full of animals. (Spoiler alert: no bears, though Josh and I saw one running away from our truck yesterday) I met Josh around 9am and by 9:45am we’d seen countless birds, several turkeys, and a pretty black rat snake. We played with it a little, stopped at his check station…then Skilor and Ray come up to the cabin carrying the same snake!
We all laughed and then let him go. Josh and I went on our merry way…and down another dirt road outside of the WMA we found an Eastern Kingsnake AND a Copperhead! They were having a standoff when we pulled up, the Kingsnake made a threat display at us while the Copperhead hung in the background, also frozen in a defensive position. I’m afraid we made the Kingsnake lose his breakfast—I feel a little bad for that—but MAN was he pretty. He managed to musk Josh pretty good before we left, though. Not the first time, nor the last time Josh has been musked by a snake. Haha
|Copperhead in background, Eastern Kingsnake in foreground|
Then things got pretty tough. The hair snares we put out today were all in awful places. BUT on the way to one (same private property as the snake-standoff), Josh throws the door open and jumps out to chase something—meanwhile, leaving the truck in drive, don’t worry, I flipped it into park quick—that was too fast for me to see. Turns out it was a Rough Green Snake which he lost in a muscadine vine/bush. He swears it went up in there, but, you know, rough greens are about the color of muscadine leaves. Foiled again.
Then we saw an old river turtle (spp?) about to lay eggs!
To continue, we helped some human animals too.
Correction: Josh helped to ladies change a tire while we were heading down the side of the highway to a snare site. He wins good citizen of the week award: it was hot, the traffic was blowing past us, and apparently he’s allergic to whatever grass grows on the side of 96. Anyways, after that was finished, we took off into the swamp. I should have taken a picture of our shoe-mud-holes we made…it took us forever to navigate through the muck. And we sank pretty far—ankle deep, maybe—while standing to assemble the snare. Oh the things we do for science!
We rounded out the day with a wander through a clearcut, where we saw some pretty outstanding tracks:
|Pterodactyl…Just Kidding, probably Great Blue Heron|
|And a Bobcat! Ugh, these tracks are so precious!|
And we put up a pretty hair snare—which I also should have photo documented. I will later this summer.