Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Secret Pond Walk ... Part Two ... Close Encounter

Yesterday, we made it as far as the pond and I cleverly scared away the ibis and egrets we were stalking.

(Stupid red please don't shoot me blackpowder hunters, t-shirt!)

Undaunted by the loss of potentially cool ibis shots, we (you and I) plunged on into the soggy brush surrounding this shallow, swampy pond.

There was a skinny game trail through the willows and it seemed like a logical path to follow ... so we did ... remember?

I went first since it's my blog ... heehee.

The tripod came in handy for more than just photos on this swamp slog.

Tight quarters, but we persevered.

Whoa! Did you SEE that guy! If he had not flicked his tail just a little, my next footfall would have been directly atop him.

Sheeeesh! Okay, everyonce in a while you get a reminder to not get too big for your FC britches. Time to slow down a little and look down a lot.

Slowing down allows us to appreciate the beauty of that very same moccasin as he slips away into his element.

Here's something cool, the plankton traps of bladderwort. Bladderwort is a submerged plant that uses these tiny traps to take in tiny planktonic organisms as a food source.

Another cool thing about bladderwort, is that even though it is a submerged plant, it extends it's flower stalks up out of the water to be pollinated by insects.

Clever carnivore.

We get some clever points too ... we found the secret pond, got a few ibis shots, met a sweet little moccasin, did not get bit by the sweet little moccasin, held a carnivorous plant, did not get eaten by the carnivorous plant, and made it out alive.

I always enjoy that last part.

Thanks for coming along.


Sandcastle Momma said...

I am really enjoying this! You in the mud and me getting to see it all - but from the safety of my home. And I must say that you are NUTS! You do know that mocassins are poisonous, right? Do you carry a snake bite kit? What would you do if he bit you? Crazy man.

But again, I'm loving every minute of it and hope there's more to come LOL

Sharon said...

I will gladly let you go first. As a matter of fact, you can ALWAYS go first! LOL Loved that first video ~ very Blair-Witch, hehe.

Dani said...

Great trip, thanks!

Sayre said...

I had to go back several times and blow up that picture to figure out what you "almost stepped on". But it wasn't until I watched the video that I figured it out. I must need stronger glasses!

Thanks for the walk!

threecollie said...

Darned good thing you were in front because even after clicking on the photo I could not see the occupant.

Love snakes in general but I am glad that particular species does not grace this particular state. There is a famous rattler den within two or three miles of here, but sweetly we are separated from it by a large, vigorous river. I know they can swim but they don't and I thank them for it.
Glad you didn't step in the wrong spot.

robin andrea said...

I'm enjoying this hike very much. Love that moccasin video. What a fine little fellow. I also love the sounds there. So very different from what we hear in the woods here.

who wouda thunk it?? said...

Gee that was fun! but I DO prefer the smell of the bog and the nice mud. I guess I will have to go get dirty for real

Emily said...

Great trip! Thanks for leading the way.

We've had an ibis hanging out in our backyard seasonal pond for about three weeks. I think he's had his fair share of frogs. And, yet I can't seem to get a good picture of him.

Hurricane Teen said...

I hope my mom doesn't see this post. She gets worried enough about my swamprattishness as it is.
We've all had out close calls ;-)

TROLL said...

Your expression is priceless. Perfect for "almost stepped on a moc".

Floridacracker said...

Oh yes, I know all that ... why do you think I go out there?
So far my level of caution has worked, but you do get careless and I was moving too fast through Moc habitat when that moc flicked his tail.
Snake bite kits are a big farce by the way.

Was my nose running in that video?
Glad to lead the way ... as long as there aren't spiders.

Thanks for coming along!

I would probably not seen him either'cept for a flick of the tail.

That amazes me that a river could be a barrier. I've seen them floating out to sea on an outgoing tide and doing quite well.

About the sounds,... it was a breezy day and there is a lot of background swoosh ... almost sounds like flowing water, but there was none.
Glad you are enjoying the jaunt.

Who Woulda,
That's always best.

Ibis seem either skittish or hamish. Sometimes you can walk right up to them ... not this time of course.

We won't tell her.

It's one I've gotten to practice many times!

Miz S said...

I figure you're not likely to die of a snake bite. My worst case scenario for you: you get bitten, you drag yourself back home, and Mrs. FC drives you to the hospital yelling at you the whole way. And I want video of that if it ever happens.

Floridacracker said...

Miz S,
True, hospital's 40 miles the other way though, so, she'd have to yell at me over the phone, cause I'm driving east to civilization, not west to home.

Cathy S. said...

You are very brave. We had another snake encounter at work today, but I wasn't so cocky this time. I am afraid we might have a whole bunch of those ring necks in the walls or something. Everyone is hyper scared. Even I am nervous even though my brain knows it has nothing to fear.

BeeDancer said...

Of course you're going first...the tall guy always goes first to knock away the spider webs for the more space efficient among us...

I feel for the moc encounter...had one with a rattler a couple months ago and it took hours for my heart to stop pounding

Sharon said...

LOL, no, you were post-nasal-drip free, it just reminded me of BW with no sounds but twigs snapping and leaves cracking :) I'll deal with spiders all day long if you handle the snakes. Sounds like a deal to me!

Ericka said...

thank you for the walk! i'm glad you didn't squish the sneaky snake!

Floridacracker said...

Cathy S,
At least it's ringnecks, pretty sweet little snakes. Glad you are there as the voice of reason and compassion.

You called me tall ... major brownie points and a lifetime invitation to Pure Florida!!
I bet a rattler induced pulse rate does take a while to return to normal.

Okay, good to know I wasn't sniffing profusely.
The spiders are all yours!

Floridacracker said...

Me too as I have an aversion to snake venom injections!
Very graceful exit by the snake I thought.

elpbulls said...

I hope you didnt tell mom about this...I can just hear her now..RAYMOND that's not funny!!! lol Loved the videos! xoxo

Robert V. Sobczak said...

You won't be wearing those shoes to church any time soon! I have 2-3 pairs of boots that I relegate to just getting wet myself, or an old pair of sneakers is great too.

jojo said...

man o man. what a picture of your facial expression... HOLY Quacomole batman you almost got dead.

or bitten really badly and yikes.

but i think that picture should go up on your header. :) cause its priceless. i'm not laughing really lol!

SophieMae said...

One day, when I was little, I was told to stay in the house. I sneaked out and was halfway across the yard when I looked down. My foot was hovering over a moc. They say God looks after fools and children. I was a bit of both that day. Sometimes I wonder how I've lived this long. Reckon He's still watching out for me.

And LOL, the word verif. is SCOLD!

Anonymous said...

Part two of Hunt for the secret pond does not disappoint. Liked the video of the water moccasin, its so much better than just saying you almost stepped on a snake. I enjoyed the information about the carnivorous plant especially. Keep up the adventures!

Floridacracker said...

Yes, I hear it too.

I love sneakers. Boots always leak anyway and they are hot and heavy here in FL.

Glad you missed that bite way back when.

Thank you and welcome to Pure Florida!

Floridacracker said...

I might scare visitors away!

Prem said...

I almost stepped on a moccasin recently while out photographing orchids at a small nature preserve not too far from my house. This guy/gal did NOT flick his/her tail, in fact, did NOT move in any fashion...I just noticed a rather nicely patterned stick (juvie moc) where my next footfall would be. I wasn't sure initially if it was a moc or a rattler, but once I was a slightly safer distance, it was clear.

I took a few photos and then tossed a stick near it, making it scamper away with its tail between...well, it had nowhere to put its tail between.

Then there was this other day when I was at Fakahatchee with the Chris and Misti Little and Larry Roberts from and Larry tried to entice a juvie moc to do a threat display for the just decided these creatures were too scary and slithered away. Misti was at a VERY SAFE distance from the snake..heh.

Thankfully, in all my experiences in the wild where mocs live, none has bitten fact, none has even given chase, seeming to dispel the myth about how aggressive these snakes are.

---Prem - The Florida Native and Naturalized Orchids website.