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.
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.
With stunning colored head
Young and old of banded water snake.
Meanwhile, on any log they can find in the high water, the turtles are sunning, too.
Blooming now on Womack Creek:
Cowcreek Spider Lily, an endemic species only found in this area. Discovered by Prof Loran Anderson, emeritus, FSU, biology.
Male Ogeche tupelo, providing the nectar for tupelo honey. Bees buzzing all over these blossoms.
Female Ogeche tupelo, it’s drupes are food for wildlife in the fall.
Narrowleaf evening primrose.
Virginia sweetspire, a few still blooming.
And most of the swamp dogwoods are going to seed, food for migratory songbirds in the fall.
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.
False indigo in the peak of bloom and favorite flower of bees and hornets
Spatterdock just beginning to bloom.
Swamp rose and clematis crispa
Swamp rose, almost white. The roses perfume the air around them.
Lots of activity on the creek:
Lady bug beetle on muscadine leaf, swamp titi buds just below.
See what looks like the discarded shell of the bug (or larvae) on the swamp titi leaf just above the beetle.
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.
A sweet ending to a warm and sunny day.