Okefenokee Snake Hunting Competition

An excerpt from my Okefenokee Journal dated March 11, 2015:

Plain Bellied Water Snake
Plain-bellied Watersnake along the Trembling Earth Nature Trail; Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge, Georgia. March 11, 2015. ©www.williamwisephoto.com. Please don’t steal my images. Download and use legally from Dreamstime.com.

Wednesday, 11:50 AM Walking further down the swamp boardwalk, my eyes were constantly scanning left and right among the shallow waters and cypress knees. My daughter and I were constantly engaged in a silent competition to spot snakes. I don’t know how, but it seems that Amanda is always the one to find the snakes on our trips. She discovered the beautiful Canebrake Rattlesnake at Cloudland Canyon State Park by nearly putting her foot down upon the serpent stretched across the trail. But not this time! I was going to out-score her in the Okefenokee this year!

As we rounded a corner on the trail, Amanda’s eyes were caught by a slow slithering five feet below the boardwalk. “SNAKE!” she shouted! Laying there at the base of a Blackgum tree was a stout Plain-bellied Watersnake. Adult Nerodia erythrogaster typically have unpatterned backs and bright, plain bellies. This beauty was nearly pure red underneath.


iNaturalist observation: https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/29977758

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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