Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Now, THAT Would Have Put A Damper On Christmas


Happy Christmasy hubub has been slurping up my expedition time ... you may have noticed the dearth of posts.

Today, I grabbed an hour and zipped off to Devil's Hammock for a few warbler shots and maybe a sunning gator. With so little time, I zipped directly to a spot where an old logging road slips through a swampy area. The road itself is grassy and elevated, but it has water on either side with lots of warblerly bushes and gatory holes.

I parked the JEEP and started walking quietly, stopping to pssssst the warblers from time to time. They came zipping in, but not near enough for a shot and I was aware of my limited time, which was making me antsy.

Maybe getting to the gator hole would be a better use of my time. Even that usually sure thing, was iffy today. The swamp water levels were high and the gators were probably dispersed. I walked quietly, peering through the willows, hoping for at least one gator shot.

I had one chance as it turned out, a six footer sunning on the bank. Only problem was, a screen of willows separated us and I needed to get closer. Up ahead was a hole in the branches. If he would just hold for a second .... SPLASH!!

Oh well, scratch one gator shot.

The logging road I was walking abruptly ends in a willowy thicket that signals the end of dry ground and the beginning of a log strewn swamp. A narrow game trail leads off the road and into the mucky swamp at that point.

With time and road gone, I decided to follow the game trail just into the willows to try psssssting for another shot at the warblers.

That's when I almost stepped on the girl below.


Not being dramatic here, but this was as close as I've come to getting a dose of hemotoxin in long, long time. With my eyes on the warblers and still being on relatively high, dry ground, I was totally unaware of this very large moccasin until she hissed ... in just the position you see above ... locked and loaded.

I really, REALLY, appreciate that hiss as her spot was the landfall of my very next step. As it was, the land fall of my very next step was about two feet behind me immediately after the hiss.
And ... WORDS were said , ... words I won't repeat on this family safe blog.

Of course, as soon as my feet did return to Earth, I started shooting pictures ... got a little video too and if I can, I will post it later this evening ... after soccer practice.


Perfect moccasin habitat ... this is where the game trail led ...



... and the direction she fled.
Watch your step out there.

25 comments:

Sandcastle Momma said...

Good thing that angel on your shoulder was looking out for you - that was a close one. And definitely would have messed up Christmas for you.
Excellent photos though!

lisa said...

That would not have been a very nice present to get! :)

threecollie said...

Whew! I agree about the angel!

who wouda thunk it?? said...

I know you love your Jeep. let me ask you something.... did you know that Jeep makes shoes?? they do! lovely off-road tires for your feet, serious. I just bought a pair and I love em. They are called J-41 , I bought the aquarius "modle" (for women) but they make guy shoes too. look em up and check em out. This is not spam or a commercial. I am a regular reader and I LOVE my Jeep shoes. check my blog for a picture of them

Dani said...

Yeah, that would have been bad. Glad you're ok.

Alan said...

Ya know PF, if you wore steel jeans you would have to worry about such things. I know they might seem heavy, but that's just details:)

Miz S said...

I guess it comes with the territory, since you INSIST on mucking about in the woods on a regular basis.

How could you tell she was female? Do they have different coloration?

Floridacracker said...

SCMomma,
Spending Christmas with tissue dissolving venom in your leg would have been a real drag.

Lisa,
No, and it wasn't even wrapped.

3Collie,
If I have a guardian angel, she must be exhausted by now.

Who Woulda,
LOL! I know you aren't a spammer. I'll have to go to your site and check out JEEP shoes!

Dani,
Me too! Cool snake though.

Alan,
I actually have a pair of snake boots, but I never think to put them on.

Miz S,
You're right, but I usually spot them sooner.
I'm assuming she's a female due to her size ... and curves.

Pablo said...

Around here the snakes are all taking their winter naps. Imagine finding a large, active snake this time of the year.

Floridacracker said...

Pablo,
Imagine not finding them.

Mark said...

Snakes have the power to make a man levitate.

edifice rex said...

Whew! glad you were quick enuf to get out of harm's way! i'd be so clumsy i'd probably fall on the snake.

Thunder Dave said...

Crikey mate, what a beauty she is!

So did you ask Santa to bring you some of those snake handling pole thingies with the hooks on the end, or just a clean pair of trousers and under britches! ;-)

Thunder Dave said...

Oh I forgot to tell you that I love the new header photo! Cowabunga, surfs up dude!

Floridacracker said...

Mark,
I have noticed that from time to time.

Annie,
I can't imagine you clumsy.

Thunderdave,
The sets were sweet that day at rock beach. I'm wearing my snake boots the next time I'm shooting birds in moc country... I've been ordered to.

TROLL Y2K said...

Gosh, she's a good-sized girl. I find my big boots comfortable but I know a lot of people don't.

Thunder Dave said...

When we get down there I'm planning to get an ocean going kayak and try my hand at catching a wave that way. I just never had the coordination or balance to stand up on a board!

Anonymous said...

Note to self.

Do not read FC's blog on the day you were discharged for cheast pains and a fast heart rate.

Patti

PS Glad you got out of harms way! I am fine but your adventures can get a heart beat fired up!!

robin andrea said...

That really was a surprisingly close call, fc. What a beautiful creature though. Good thing it all ended with a nice click of the shutter.

Caroline said...

Man, that's one malevolent looking moccasin! Our resident rattlers are rusticating under frozen ground at the moment, one hopes. :o>

cndymkr / jean said...

Your guardian angel was definitely with you! I have to say though it is a great photo. I'm not sure my feet would have touched the ground till I was safely in the Jeep. And I wouldn't have been able to take such a good photo, from all the shaking of nervous adrenaline.

Floridacracker said...

A bigun Troll. Mine are high snake proof boots, and not uncomfortable, but I am such a sneaker guy.

Dave, You need a long board, but kayaking should be fun too.

Patti,
Oh my. I hope you are okay! My heart was going pretty good after that close call, and I was glad it still was!!
Take care of yourself.

Robin,
Love that you can see beauty there. I am still wrestling with the video upload.

Caroline,
It was one of those warm days that draws them out. Glad yours are anapping.

Jean,
LOL! My Sony has a steadyshot feature. That may have helped!

Sharon said...

DUDE. I have come a LOOONG way with my snake-a-phobia, but I still have it, and after the two HORRIFYING Snake type nightmares I've had in the last week, this is not good for me! LOL! Glad you missed her though (or that she missed you!). Merry Christmas to you and yours :)

roger said...

i have seen several rattlesnakes out in raw nature. wonderfully for me i have never looked down to see one coiled like that and looking at me. video, oh yeah. hope it works.

Ericka said...

i really like your new header shot - very cool!

glad you and the snake were okay. have you seen this bear cub meets snake video? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CNaohVU3qIo