Monday, April 16, 2012

Behold The Tree Of Snakes!

I went to Penwood State park on Saturday to scan the skies for hawks from the top of a ridge. As I was walking along one of the trails in the park I turned and found myself staring into the face of  of what I believe is a Black Rat Snake .
They are known to be able to climb trees but it was  impressive tp see this big snake stretched out on a branch. I didn't have a tape measure with me (or I would have crawled out on the branch to measure it) but I'd estimate it was about 6 feet long. They are constrictors that eat mainly rodents, small birds, amphibians, and insects.
Then I looked at the other side of the tree and found 3 more rat snakes sunning themselves!
It was an interesting morning. Besides the spectacle of seeing the tree of snakes, I found myself trapped in the middle of a 50k trail race. There was what seemed to be about 100 people running through the woods along the trails. I had to keep hopping off the trail to avoid interfering with the race.
The Hermit Thrushes must have been making a major move because I counted at least 6 of them along one section of trail.
I also saw 4 Yellow-bellied Sapsuckers and heard a Winter Wren singing in the woods.

Despite all the distractions, I finally made it to the top of the ridge. I had a nice view of some Broad-winged Hawks passing through.There were a few Red-tailed, Red-shouldered, and Sharp-shinned Hawks mixed in. I also saw 3 Black Vultures and a Peregrine Falcon. Nothing could top seeing 4 snakes in a tree though. That's something I don't see every day!

10 comments:

Ruth said...

Dostoy said...

Anonymous said...

Larry said...

Larry said...

Thanks for the comments from Ruth, Dostoy and anonymous-

Unfortunately,I managed to delete about a months worth of comments by accident.

Dostoy(recovered from e-mail)-Wow! If I ran into three 6-foot snakes I'd have a heart attack.

anonymous left an interesting comment about seeing a Rat Snake invade a chickadee's nest in a log stump.With the head of the snake down in the nest-the chickadees were frantic and the eggs or nestlings could be observed going down into the snakes digestive system.

For those who have taken the tinme to leave comments this month, I apologize for the mistake.

Chris said...

Beurk I hate snakw Larry... It is just a snakophoby ;-( Beautiful post...

Cindy said...

Snakes alive! Bet the thrushes were running from the joggers.. Cool post!

troutbirder said...

Interesting all right. I've never seen one of these. I think a safer sighting than the big timber rattler I ran across last summer while trout fishing....

dAwN said...

Crap..all that commenting for naught..hee hee..

That was a cool tree of snakes and busy trail tales.
Nice view from the tippidy top!

Larry said...

Chris-I get a little nervous around big spiders myself.

Cindy-Maybe they did flush the thrush in my direction.

troutbirder-they get pretty hefty. We have a Timber Rattler snake den in Portland but I've only see one rattler since I've lived here.I'm not about ready to go looking for them either.

dawn-I had the same reaction.Sometimes when the Internet gets slow I get impatient and hit buttons I shouldn't. Hopefully I learned my lesson.