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Snake encounters of the scary type

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Since we are in for a wet year, I figure there will be more snake sightings and I want to share one I experienced a couple of years ago on Goose Creek not far from this present cache: GC249X2 BB's Under 10 Tons Cache.

I thought I would hide one out on a big tree that leaned way out over the creek and I carefully made my way up the tree out over the water until I was a good fifteen feet up and noted a very good hidey hole where a limb had broken and rotted off on the far side of two limbs.

The tree was still about twelve inches in diameter and it was very hot and humid, making the climb precarious. I leaned my head over the crotch to see if the hole was big enough for a large pill container and curled up in there was a large snake (turns out it was a harmless speckled king snake upon later reflection) and I turned and ran down that tree like I had a prehensile tail and hit the ground running and whimpering a little bit.

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Posted · Report post

You did better than me.  I probably would have fallen off the tree as I tried to get down. 

georeyna likes this

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CLAPS CITO -- approaching the last two CLAPS III caches north of Spring Gulley.  Kirbydox's eagle eye spied this scary scenario.  I saw two go in.  God knowls how many were there.

 

ecdd2942-68c0-4b21-8f47-25e1c0d98843.jpg

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Posted · Report post

oh good gravy.  see... more reason I shouldn't go out on the kayak...

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Posted (edited) · Report post

Haven't seen any out here in the Houston area yet, but when we were Kayaking in Caddo Lake state park I spotted this one laying around....

Freaked my wife out... I was only allowed to paddle backwards to take a picture of it so she could stay as far away as possible, couldn't convince her snakes aren't able to jump out of the water into a kayak......

Edited by Dhaulaghiri

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Posted · Report post

I don't have a skydrive account...

Me either...

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Posted · Report post

Yellow bellied water snake?  Where's HoustonHerp?

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convince her snakes aren't able to jump out of the water into a kayak......

Funny. At a paddle event we stopped near a land cache people like to climb out to get and while waiting for the group to get there I saw one jump out of the tree into the water.

Naysayers say they can't jump and it "fell" but if it wasn't for a fast tilt in the yak it would have been IN my yak and I would have been in the water. (I'm sure it was "harmless" but wasn't about to stick around to find out.)

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convince her snakes aren't able to jump out of the water into a kayak......

Funny. At a paddle event we stopped near a land cache people like to climb out to get and while waiting for the group to get there I saw one jump out of the tree into the water.

Naysayers say they can't jump and it "fell" but if it wasn't for a fast tilt in the yak it would have been IN my yak and I would have been in the water. (I'm sure it was "harmless" but wasn't about to stick around to find out.)

 

OK, but that was jumping from a tree into the water. As you can see in the picture this one was IN the water on a lily-pad...

But then again, I wasn't gonna take any chances either, 'cause I didn't know what type of snake it was.... stayed a good 6-9 feet away.

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Posted · Report post

I certainly could see this image, but I have no idea of what kind of snake it is.

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At first I thought Bert was correct, but upon further examination blown up on a decent screen, the triangular head and cat-eye kinda points to a yearling adult Cottonmouth, aka Water Moccasin. The coloration is consistent with the yellow showing in near water environment and young adult.

 

Funny, whenever I see these particular snakes they're usually pissed at me for some reason, giving me the what-for and showing me their fangs. When they are in the water and stretched out they tend to be vulnerable. I watched a 8-9lb large mouth bass go after one about this size while I was fishing in a small pond on a float tube on a lazy Sunday afternoon several years ago. It was a heckuva battle for about 3-4 mins with water splashing everywhere and me retreating rapidly. The Bass took the prize once things settled down. It was quite a sight to witness.

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Posted (edited) · Report post

At first I thought Bert was correct, but upon further examination blown up on a decent screen, the triangular head and cat-eye kinda points to a yearling adult Cottonmouth, aka Water Moccasin. The coloration is consistent with the yellow showing in near water environment and young adult.

 

Funny, whenever I see these particular snakes they're usually pissed at me for some reason, giving me the what-for and showing me their fangs. When they are in the water and stretched out they tend to be vulnerable. I watched a 8-9lb large mouth bass go after one about this size while I was fishing in a small pond on a float tube on a lazy Sunday afternoon several years ago. It was a heckuva battle for about 3-4 mins with water splashing everywhere and me retreating rapidly. The Bass took the prize once things settled down. It was quite a sight to witness.

 

Not a cottonmouth.  A cottonmouth has a distinctive black stripe from the eyes back to the neck, on both sides of the head.  

I've seen enough of them to recognize them from far away.  (usually a step or two behind Fendmar, as he almost steps on the snake)

 

I think Bert's guess was pretty good.

Edited by Mr Muddy Buddy

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Why,,, why!!!  Why did I click on that picture twice...  plus seeing the other one in the tree!  After reading the posts I foolishly looked at the picture again and zoomed in and then had a hard time trying to minimize the screen as it would be too close to the nasty thing.  I can't imagine being in the water near it and don't think you could convince me that it couldn't jump out of the water into a boat....  nasty

Baytown Bert likes this

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Posted · Report post

Perhaps. A better head view would really help. Remember, this is Caddo Lake, not GBP.

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 The Bass took the prize once things settled down. It was quite a sight to witness.

 

Wow.   Just wow.

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Here is a photo of a yellow bellied water snake.  They are often mistaken for a cottonmouth rattle cobra.

 

http://www.texassnakes.net/YellowBellied.htm

 

Here are two breeding in my flowerbed.  I did not kill them and note the many variations of these snakes, but all have a distinctive yellow bottom the cottonmouth lacks.  Some have broad viper-looking heads too, some don't.  I'm no herpetologist though, just interpolating a bit.

 

http://www.ourbaytown.com/Around_Baytown2/target6.html

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Posted (edited) · Report post

I think the snakes in the tree Kirbydox photographed are Speckled king snakes, like the one I encountered.

 

http://www.texassnakes.net/Speckled.htm

 

They will stand their ground in my experience and look quite dangerous, but they are not venomous.  Arron Barbee stepped on one while we were doing  this adventure:

 

Edited by Baytown Bert

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I think Bert was right, after seeing his picture of the yellow belly I think that is what we saw. As I said, I would have liked to take better pictures, but A. My wife wouldn't let me get ANY closer or she'd start hitting me with her paddle until we were moving away from the snake and B. I only have a small compact camera, so I unfortunately don't have a lot of zoom capability.

Thanks for the info though.

georeyna likes this

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I think the snakes in the tree Kirbydox photographed are Speckled king snakes, like the one I encountered.

 

http://www.texassnakes.net/Speckled.htm

 

They will stand their ground in my experience and look quite dangerous, but they are not venomous.  Arron Barbee stepped on one while we were doing  this adventure:

 

 

 

Dunno, Bert.  I've run across several Speckled King Snakes and the one in the tree KX photographed wasn't speckled.

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I'll yield to the venerable opinions on the ID. However, for the record, the commonly seen line on face behind the eye mentioned is NOT present on all Cotton Mouth. Variations abound! Surf images searched to see for yourself but be wary of mislabeled. It is a very good idea to study venomous snake pictures, lots and lots of them, for variations and coloration. Consider this requisite "homework" to recognize each type of venomous snake well. In the event, you, your child or pet is bitten in your presence, it makes the emergency room visit much more effective and limits complications.

Baytown Bert likes this

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I'll yield to the venerable opinions on the ID. However, for the record, the commonly seen line on face behind the eye mentioned is NOT present on all Cotton Mouth. Variations abound! Surf images searched to see for yourself but be wary of mislabeled.

It is a very good idea to study venomous snake pictures, lots and lots of them, for variations and coloration.

Consider this requisite "homework" to recognize each type of venomous snake well. In the event, you, your child or pet is bitten in your presence, it makes the emergency room visit much more effective and limits complications.

Totally agree, better safe then sorry!

But the best 'rule' is of course to leave them in peace as much as geocachingly possible ;)

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