Friday, July 2, 2010

More Critters Encountered While Camping

Besides the bear tracks and the salamander that were in  previous posts, we saw some other notable wildlife while we were camping in North Carolina.

We have Gulf Fritillaries at home. I think this was a Spangled Fritillary that was resting on my folding chair.

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There were times when the river was alive with water striders.

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It took us a few people looking at the picture below on my camera to be able to come up with an identification for this snake that was in the Mills River. Swimmers had called it a Copperhead the day before but it turned out to actually be a Northern Watersnake. It had its tail tucked into the rocks on the bottom and just its nose and eyes above the surface. After remaining perfectly still for a while, it began to taste the air with its tongue and then slipped down into the rocks, only to re-emerge close by again in this same vertical position. You can see how well its markings and colorings work in the water and rocks with red deposits.

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The firefighter/camper who identified it said a three foot Copperhead will have the girth of a man’s arm. This snake probably had that length but certainly not that girth. Northern Watersnakes are not found in Florida, so this was a new critter to us. Apparently their coloring varies some and darkens to almost black as they mature. 100_1554 I read online that they will strike and bite repeatedly when cornered and that there is an anticoagulant in their saliva that makes the wound bleed profusely. So, keep your distance.

There were swallows nesting in the eaves of the fish hatchery. This is an adult.

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These are some babies in another nest.

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Goldfinches were at the feeder at the hatchery. We do not have goldfinches in the summer here and have to migrate with them to see their beautiful yellow. In the cooler months when they can be found on rare occasions here, they have no yellow at all.

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Of course, we saw lots of trout at the hatchery.

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This spider was hanging out in the outhouse in the camping area.

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This gives you an idea of how big it was.

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We also saw three white squirrels in Brevard but I had left my camera in B’s truck to keep it dry and came off without it. 8^(

2 comments:

wlh said...

I love the spider

Anonymous said...

A cottonmouth is the moccasin that gets very large in girth. They can get long too, I have seen a six foot one after Hurricane Camille in 1969. They can be aggressive and yes, they turn an oxblood red or even have a black color when they are mature and sport a black mask over their eyes. The poisonous snakes have an arrow shaped head and the non poisonous down. Copperheads tend to stay small. Immature cotton mouths have sulfur colored tipped tails.
tammy n Al.