Okefenokee Journal: Banded Watersnake

Southern Banded Watersnake, Nerodia fasciata, in Okefenokee Swamp Park National Wildlife Refuge, Georgia. Stephen C Foster State Park. March 10, 2015. ©www.williamwisephoto.com. Please don’t steal my images. Download and use legally from Dreamstime.com

An excerpt from my March 10, 2015 Okefenokee Nature Journal:

Tuesday, 4:16 PM – The most noticeable, or, I should say, most unavoidable sight on the Trembling Earth Nature Trail was the gnats — great clouds of gnats six feet in diameter, swarming at eye-level on the boardwalk. We pass through one cloud – swatting and waving our hands with eyes squinted and mouth shut tight – only to encounter another gnat cloud a few feet further down the boardwalk. Swatting did absolutely nothing; like trying to blow a path through thick fog with your mouth.

With my eyes squinted and facing down, I happen to notice a quick movement below the boardwalk and a stirring of the tannin-stained blackwater swamp. “A snake!” my daughter shouts. She is somehow always the first to spot the serpents on our wildness hikes. Sure enough, down in the sphagnum moss slithered a Southern Banded Watersnake, Nerodia fasciata. One cool reptile was now off our checklist. But where were the alligators?

iNaturalist observation: https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/29933071

Published by William Wise

Hi, I’m conservation photographer and nature writer William Wise. Nature journaling and wildlife photography has been a favorite pastime since the ‘90s. I graduated from University of Georgia Warnell Forestry School's wildlife program in 1996. I'm currently an animal shelter manager/photographer and reside in Athens, Georgia, USA with my wife and two teenage daughters. My website www.williamwisephoto.com is a wildlife and birding photo website documenting the beauty, design and wonder of creation. I have a deep love of the Okefenokee Swamp National Wildlife Refuge in Georgia. I became a devoted Christian in 1993 under a campus ministry while studying wildlife biology. My love of the outdoors quickly turned into a love for the Creator and His works. Creation Speaks is my teaching ministry that glorifies our Creator and teaches the truth of creation. I am also a guest author at Lee's Birdwatching Adventures and The Creation Club. The theme of my blogging comes from The Message version of Psalms 104 -- "What a wildly wonderful world, God! You made it all, with Wisdom at Your side, You made earth overflow with your wonderful creations."

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