Tuesday, April 12, 2011

So I'm Not Nuts About ALL Creatures

There I was, biking down the boring Cape Haze Trail. I say "boring" because nothing truly exciting happens on that 11-mile round-trip trail. Same old trees, same old blacktop surface every time.  Occasionally I can spot part of a house if it's far enough away, not hidden by the tropical growth.

But, occasionally the boredom is broken by curiosity. In this instance, several months ago, I spotted a snake on the 6-foot wide blacktop surface. 

I'm accustomed to seeing dozens of black "racer" snakes along the trail. They're harmless and generally "back up" when they see me heading their way.

The snake shown below mystified me. I couldn't determine what kind it was, so I stopped my bike, grabbed my camera and took four shots from various angles.

As noted above, the trail is six-feet wide. The picture was taken approximately three feet from the snake. If the snake were stretched out straight, it appears that it was about 3+ feet long. The thickness in the middle led me to think that it had just gotten done eating, possibly the reason it didn't attempt to strike. Whatever! I'm happy about that!

When I got home, I signed online and looked for information on this snake. It turned out to be an Eastern Diamondback Rattler! As I read the description and looked at the photo, the remaining hairs on the back of my neck stood at attention. It occurred to me only then how very close I was to a possible strike and bite that could have proved deadly.

Another snake below: My proximity to it can be noted by the cap on the top of my water bottle, mounted on the handlebars where that arrow points. I never did determine what type of snake this was.

Note to self: When in doubt, turn around and peddle your butt off. Don't look for trouble!

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