Saturday, April 4, 2020

A Colorful Spring!


OK....here's your warning! Read the beginning and then skip to the end if you don't want to see something scary! This will be your only warning! lol If you don't skip to the bottom and you get scared, don't blame me! 


We see a lot of beautiful birds here in Florida!


We watched a pair of Pileated Woodpeckers building a nest awhile back.


One was pecking a deep hole into an old tree.  Look at the tail feathers on this one!!!


The other one pecked around an old stump nearby.

They didn't care that we walked by and took pics. They had a job to do!

But when you hike in the woods as often as we do, you are bound to see something scary. And we saw the scariest thing to date when we hiked this week. 


A Coral Snake.


They have the second strongest venom of any snake in the world (the black mamba has the most deadly venom).


And this wasn't a little baby snake...it was about 3 ft in length. 

It was rustling in the leaves along the side of the trail. My hubby was in the lead and saw it first and turned to caution me to stop. He walked back toward me since the snake was heading...in my direction...and stayed between me and the snake in case it tried to turn and cross in front of me. He had on long pants and boots. I got over to the other side of the trail as much as I could and it slithered past. I can still feel my heart quicken when I write this. It was scary! Does it mean I won't go back in the woods again. Of course not. I believe there are dangers in every part of our lives and this one did not threaten us. I liked what my hubby said when we were back home, safe and sound. He said he felt privileged to see something so rare in the wild and to have survived to tell the story. I've been scared a few times on our hikes but I still love the forest and know that it is worth any danger that it holds. 



And even though it is deadly, according to National Geographic no deaths from coral snake bites have been reported in the U.S. since an antivenom was released in 1967.

So that's the scary hiking story I warned you about! 

Let's finish with another pretty bird with a colorful head!



Pileated Woodpecker

Most of our hiking trails are closed now. How are things going in your part of the world? Stay safe and healthy!


I’m joining Saturday’s critters HERE

and I’d Rather B Birdin’.


44 comments:

Tom said...

...the woodpeckers I like, the snake not so much!

Ellen D. said...

You were right - that was scary! I would have run away as fast as I could! I don't think I could hike somewhere if I thought there would be snakes. Love to see the pretty birds, tho!! Glad you are safe!

Sandra said...

seeing it here did not scare me but it would if I were there.. most snakes will run away from us if we give them the chance. you did the right thing. the thing about if you got bit and went to get the antivenoms, you might get bit by Covid-19... are you still allowed to go to the parks? now we are under the curfew and I am trying to figure how going out in the middle of the night is more dangerous than going out in the middle of the day... we are staying home and walking the dog and that is it.

eileeninmd said...

Hello, Diane

Awesome captures of the Pileated woodie at it's nest. They are big beautiful birds. The Coral Snake is still beautiful, I am glad you saw it in time and kept your distance. I had one cross the trail in front of me while hiking at Circle B in Florida. Great post, loved your photos. Thank you for linking up and sharing your post. Take care, stay safe! Enjoy your day, wishing you a happy weekend.

Penelope Notes said...

Sounds like your husband saved the day! Danger lurks in all sorts of places. Right now, our biggest danger is so tiny it can’t be seen with the naked eye but it is just as venomous. Take care!

Vee said...

Oh sure! Like a warning was going to make me skate past. I am very glad that you are married to the proverbial knight in shining armor...what a guy! I am glad that you two had the thrill of seeing it and I am glad that I was brave and did not skate by so I could see it, too. So do you carry that medication in your pockets at all times? 😉

Anne said...

Wow! Sounds like a fun, but scary walk. I would have been so scared, too, I am not fond of any kind of snake, I don't even like worms!! I am glad you got home safe and sound.

Penny from Enjoying The Simple Things said...

We have a pair of pileated woodpeckers in our woods around our house. They are fun to watch. Yikes about the snake!

A Bit of the Blarney said...

Such an enlightening post. I learned a lot about the coral snake that I didn't know and am even more frightened. Your photos are remarkable. Have a grand weekend and be safe!

The Feminine Energy said...

Oh. My. Goodness!! I'm so glad you KNEW that the snake was venomous, so that you could avoid it. I wonder why there are so few coral snake bites? Are they more afraid of people than people are of them? Or is the danger of coral snakes widely known? At any rate, he was gorgeous, indeed. So is the woodpecker.... absolutely stunning. My wildlife are flying and running around outside as I type this, as I can see them outside the window above my computer. It's raining so I haven't fed them yet. They will simply have to dine on all that Mother Earth offers them, until the rain stops. :-) Love, Andrea xoxo

Arlene @Nanaland said...

I remember learning about Coral Snakes in science but I have never seen one. Oh my goodness. I prefer Woody the Woodpecker myself.:)

SImple and Serene Living said...

Yikes!!! That was pretty scary, but what a wonderful experience to see on in it's natural habitat. Stay safe, my friend. xo Laura

Monica Hein ~ Beauty Diary said...

OMG I would die if I ever encourage a snake or a spider !

Pamela M. Steiner said...

I really don't understand why the Hiking Trails are closed, unless they are within a State Park. If they don't have bathroom facilities, etc., then I see no reason for them to be closed, but that is my opinion. Love the Pileated Woodpecker...and how wonderful that you got to see him go into his nest! That is really special. Now, the Coral Snake is something else. I've never seen one that long before. Most of them I've come in contact with were about half that size. yes, this is the time that snakes are coming out and are more active in our woods, so we do need to be alert and aware. A Coral Snake would probably have to chew on you a bit to actually get a good bite...they aren't strikers like a rattlesnake, but I still give them a wide berth. (Unless they are too close to the house, and then they have to go bye bye). They like garden beds and areas with piles of leaves or old wood, so we should try to keep that away from our houses. Also in these parts are Pygmy Rattlesnakes, which are much smaller than the Diamondbacks, but they are also very deadly, and they seem to be in many of the same areas as the Coral Snakes. So always wear strong shoes and keep your toes covered when hiking. I'm sure you know all that. Thanks for sharing this. Perhaps many of your readers are not so familiar with the Coral Snake as we are here in Florida. This was a great reminder to be safe.

Linda aka Crafty Gardener said...

Yikes Dianne, a scary snake. I wasn't scared by the photos, but don't know how I would of reacted if I had seen it in person. Love the pileated woodpecker, haven't seen one around the garden yet.

Sandi Magle said...

I can't help but think this experience parallels are immediate situation. I Just wish a big brave man in boots and long (Big boy) pants would step in and prevent our demise. Hugs, and hike on! Sandi

handmade by amalia said...

Don't like snakes, I'm rooting for the pretty bird.
Amalia
xo

carol l mckenna said...

That is quite the adventure in the woods ~ I would have been scared too if I was you ~ Glad hubby was with you ~ gorgeous nature shots ~ love the woodpeckers ^_^

Be Well,
A ShutterBug Explores,
aka (A Creative Harbor)

Terri D said...

Glad hubby saw it first! How does that little ditty go? Black & yellow will kill a fellow; red & black, venom lacks or something like that! Whew!

David M. Gascoigne, said...

What an amazing experience you had. The great views of the Pileated Woodpecker were reward enough, but the Coral Snake was the icing on the cake. Deadly though they are they are an integral part of a healthy ecosystem and will always try to give you a wide birth if possible. I suppose it is a bit of a moot point as to which venomous snakes have the most potent poison. Once the bite is lethal the debate about which snake carries more venom is hardly relevant! I always think it is the height of foolhardiness when I see people walking around in flip flops in areas where poisonous snakes are known to occur. Stay well during this difficult time.

magnoliasntea said...

Whoa, the encounter with the snake must have been an extremely anxious moment yet thrilling, too. I'm content seeing black snakes myself, but I do understand your husband's logic about it.
Love the industrious woodpeckers.
Have a great weekend!

bill burke said...

I'll go with the woodpeckers, they are so pretty. Snakes, well you definitely have to pay attention where you are walking and hopefully not startle them. You did get some nice photos of the snake, well done!
Enjoy the weekend, take care and stay safe and healthy.

BTW, I like your new header and yes that was a new header on my blog too. :)

happyone said...

Not such a great thing to come across hiking!! It is pretty though.
Glad your scary adventure ended well.

JoAnn ( Scene Through My Eyes) said...

Wow - that is indeed some scary snake - glad you were protected and safe. Love the woodpecker - we have them here too. One time we were nearing home and right beside the car on a very narrow road, was a Pileated woodpecker working on a dead tree - we sat there in the car for about 20 minutes - just watching and taking pictures and he never even noticed us - what a thrill. I'm trying to catch up on blog reading - it's been a year or more since I've been up to even reading them - hopefully I can get caught up - I've missed everyone so very much. Thanks for sharing your adventure my dear - and hope your week is good, whatever you are doing.

Anu said...

Hello. It's a beautiful looking snake, but very scary. Woodpeckers are awesome.

Kelly-Anne said...

Hello Diane...
So lovely to visit with you today...it certainly has been awhile since the last time I stopped by!
Oh my, what scary experience...but how incredible that you got to see a coral snake out in the woods. It is just beautiful...those stripes are amazing. So thankful it didn't harm you or your husband.
Oh, I love the Pileated Woodpecker's unique hairdo! Must have been special to see them building their nest!
Have a blessed Sunday!
Hugs,
Kelly-Anne

Linda said...

Love the woodpecker. I try to keep my eyes peeled for snakes. The popular trails are closed here due to overcrowding.

Nancy Chan said...

When you gave the warning, I guessed it must be a snake. Thanks for the warning. I half closed my eyes to scroll down. I like the woodpeckers but not the snake.

Phil Slade said...

I would have loved to see that snake. We hardly ever see snakes in the UK so it is quite a thrill when we do.

Those 'peckers are wonderful and even better to find their nest hole. I think I would bo back there to see them again, despite the snakes.

Ella said...

Pileated Woodpecker is wonderful but the Snakes … I get goosebumps!
Enjoy your Sunday! Stay safe!

Jenn Jilks said...

We don't have any poisonous snakes around here, although we do have some in Central Ontario.
These are bright, and easy to spot, there is that for you!

Debbie said...

as you know, our part of the world is all locked up, NOTHING is open!! restaurants are open for take-out food but i am too nervous to do that. i worry about the chef preparing the food, the containers it is placed in. so i cook every night, which is something i am not use to. don't get me wrong, i love to cook but every night is a bit much, we like to go out a few nights a week...we/i will survive and we have plenty of food, i don't even want the hubs to go food shopping!!!

the woodpeckers are beautiful, good thing the "tail" one came with an explanation...i was trying to figure it out!!!

and as for that snake, it is a beauty!! perhaps it is not aggressive with no deaths since 1967...and it certainly was no aggressive toward you guys. good that you saw it though, it's good to know what is slithering around you!!

happy sunday diane, stay safe, be well and be happy!!!

jo(e) said...

I have to admit, the snake is pretty! I would worry about hiking where there are venomous snakes though because I tend to be so oblivious when I hike. I'm often deep in thought.

Jeanie said...

I can live without the snakes, thank you very much. But that woodpecker is a real stunner!

Anni said...

I hate snakes! We have this nasty booger here too. But your woodpecker makes up for the evil. Did I say how much I hate snakes?

Thanks so much for this wonderful woodpecker. We birders at I'd Rather B Birdin appreciate your blog post & photos!

Inger said...

Oh, I know how you felt. As long as you see them you will be OK, I think. We have snakes here too and the Mojave Green is also one of the deadliest snakes in the world. I've only seen one in all the years I have lived here and it scared me. The Northern Pacific rattlesnake is the most common here and not as dangerous. I always keep my eyes on the ground in the summer time.

Inger said...

Let me add to that: So glad you are safe and I love how your hubby stepped in to protect you.

Angie said...

Diane - yikes, I am not really scared of snakes, but then we don't come across poisonous ones that often. Glad you safely got some cool photos. And gotta love those pileated woodies - the size of them always blows me away! We are well, and trying to get creative with another week of isolation. Stay healthy!

NatureFootstep said...

This is a very cool looking woodpecer. Gret shots of it.
In Sweden I don´t mind snakes, we just have a few of them. But, I´m not sure I would be comfortable with your colorful one. :)

BeachGypsy said...

Love the pictures! As I saw the "reptile" my mind kept saying "red next to black, noooooo, it's red next to YELLOW, can kill a fellow, nooo, it's black next to red........dang I can't remember it! LOL" There is an old saying tell you if it's poinsonous or not, I think? well by the time I figured THAT OUT, it would've GOT ME........HA HA Lol Hope your weekend was nice and I loved the Barbies picture!! I responded, but don't think it went through. Hugs! Stay safe!(PS--glad your hubby saw the snake in time)

Suzy said...

I've watched a woodpecker all winter out of my kitchen window hammering away. This spring he brought home a mate! Hopefully, soon I see little ones!

Gina said...

Diane, I am glad your husband spotted that snake! I don't mind snakes. We had some big scary ones in NC. Love the woodpecker!

Sam I Am...... said...

Beautiful snake but I recognized it right away! They are out of hibernation now for sure! Glad you and hubby are safe and well from venom and viruses!

Jeannie said...

Your hubby protected you from the dangerous snake. He is your knight in shining armor!
Jeannie@GetMeToTheCountry