Sunday, May 31, 2015

Home from Ochelockenee!

Well, we're home from our trip to Ochlockonee River State Park. The only bad part of a great vacation is the trip home. We drove ten hours to arrive back here in Matthews today. But we had a wonderful trip. Saw a little of everything in the way of wildlife in that part of Florida. We took a quick trip to a well-named place called Tate's Hell State Forest. It was, indeed, hellish. I would not want to be caught in that place. We just took a very brief visit to see  a vast grove of dwarf cypress trees in the heart of said "hell". The yellow flies were as thick as leaves on a willow tree. We dashed up the boardwalk to the tower to look down on the cypress grove, took some photos while slapping at the armies of yellow flies biting us to pieces, and then ran back to the truck. But as we got to the bottom of the boardwalk, off to the left...six enormous, FAT water moccasins. Pretty much North America's most venomous and most aggressive snake. We stood at a safe distance and I took a number of photos, some of which unfortunately came out blurry because I had attached a polarizer to the lens incorrectly! I couldn't get all six of the snakes in one frame, but four cooperated. And then I began to wonder if we'd spotted all of the moccasins around us and at that thought I carefully made my way back to the truck.

I have to wonder what they were all doing together in one spot. Some kind of mating ritual?

I couldn't get all six snakes in one shot. The smaller one on the right had much brighter coloration. Not sure if it's because it was younger, or because it had recently shed.

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