Paddling Womack Creek on Cinco de Mayo, May 5, 2014

Banded water snake, Nerodia fasciata fasciata. Adult size 24-42 inches. Non-venomous, but can bite. When confronted may exude a musky odor. Bears live young. In western panhandle interbreeds with yellow belly watersnake (Nerodia erythrogaster flavigaster). Range: Florida northern peninsula through panhandle, South Alabama and along Atlantic coastal plain to Virginia. Eats fishes and frogs.

 

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Redbelly water snake, Nerodia erythrogaster eryghrogaster. Adult size 2-4 feet, non venomous, bears live young 11-30 about 9-11 1/2 inches long. Food: fishes & frogs. Habitat: rivers, lakes, swamps, marshes and cypress strands. In summer heat active mostly in early morning, late afternoon and night.

 

 

 

 

 

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With stunning colored head

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Young and old of banded water snake.

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Meanwhile, on any log they can find in the high water, the turtles are sunning, too.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Blooming now on Womack Creek:

 

 

 

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Cowcreek Spider Lily, an endemic species only found in this area. Discovered by Prof Loran Anderson, emeritus, FSU, biology.

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Male Ogeche tupelo, providing the nectar for tupelo honey. Bees buzzing all over these blossoms.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Female Ogeche tupelo, it’s drupes are food for wildlife in the fall.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Narrowleaf evening primrose.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Virginia sweetspire, a few still blooming.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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And most of the swamp dogwoods are going to seed, food for migratory songbirds in the fall.

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The last of the American wisteria. Unliked the invasive exotic Asian wisteria, the American wisteria has a thicker clump of blossoms and does not invade an area.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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False indigo in the peak of bloom and favorite flower of bees and hornets

 

 

 

 

 

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Spatterdock just beginning to bloom.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Swamp rose and clematis crispa

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Swamp rose, almost white. The roses perfume the air around them.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Lots of activity on the creek:

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Lady bug beetle on muscadine leaf, swamp titi buds just below.

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See what looks like the discarded shell of the bug (or larvae) on the swamp titi leaf just above the beetle.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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And dragonflies all over the creek.

Leaving the creek, still in Tate’s Hell State Forest, the honey harvest from titi blossoms which bloomed throughout the forest in April.

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A sweet ending to a warm and sunny day.

 

 

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