Friday, June 22, 2012

Rattle, Rattle, Rattle

Last night, before we turned in, we had a nice visit from the shelter caretakers, Bob and Martha. We were quizzing the about the trail ahead, always anxious for details. They told us about a swimming hole that we would find about 4 miles in, and how to find it, because you could not see it from the trail. Even though we would be reaching it early in the day,we were still interested in getting into the water. The forecast was for another scorcher.

We hit the trail pretty early, trying to Beattie heat, and by 10 were finding the pretty,blue-green water of the swimming hole. We ended up having it all to ourselves, and so we hung out there for a while. I would bet money that the water temp was about 53 degrees. That seems to be the water temp of all the ground springs around here. It was so cold, that when you jumped in, you could catch your breath, and when you got out, body parts actually hurt! We knew this would help us stay cool as we hiked though, so we jumped in several times. It was sure a beautiful spot!

We hiked on, and it wasn't long before we encountered a timber rattler right on the trail! I had been expecting this in Pennsylvania, but it still was pretty disconcerting to walk up on one coiled up in the middle of the trail. Swamprat moved it off the trail with his trekking poles, and we continued on. With 30 minutes, we found another one on the trail, this one a juvenile, only about 18 inches long. About an hour later, Keith was leading, and crossed a stream, and immediately heard a rattler. He froze and backed up, looking around for it. It was not in the trail, but in the grass right on the edge, and he was huge. He was also not about to let anyone get near. Swamprat eventually moved him also, his rattler loudly rattling the whole time. I am beginning to hate that sound.

- Steady and F100


Elise said...

That swimming hole sounds awesome! Sorry the snakes are so disconcerting . . . they are beautiful, though! Funny that they rattle so much where you are - I don't think I ever got one to rattle in AR (not in the wild, anyway).

Keith and Linda Geraghty said...

We ran into someone who said the snakes are adapting to not rattling when they see someone. They are learning if they rattle people harm them. Just FYI I don't think dad and Swamprat will leave a snake alone until it does rattle. Lol.