Snake in a Tree

Bumblebee Closeup Bleeding HeartIt’s hard to decide what to blog about on a day like today. Tavia led a group of wildflower enthusiasts on hikes through the Woodland Garden, then down to Little Huckleberry Creek. The sun shone, and everything was beautiful!

Shooting Star CloseupOf course, we all enjoyed the flowers. The old saying was evident: when you plant flowers, the first year they sleep, the second year they creep, and the third year they leap! The Woodland Garden has been going for about three years now, and some things are sleeping, while others are leaping.

Wild Ginger Blossom 2The Wild Ginger has made particularly good progress, spreading out in large patches.

Northern ParulaWe learned about the invasives that strangle the native wildflowers, such as autumn olive, bush honey suckle and multiflora rose, as we walked back into the woods. Unfortunately, these were are brought in at the suggestion of USDA, and now it costs a lot to remove them. Birds such as this Northern Parula, sang from the treetops, and we searched for them along the trail.

Snake in Titmouse Nest HoleAs we admired the May apple colony along the Hidden Spring Trail, a Tufted Titmouse flew around calling in an animated fashion, and someone remarked that they saw something in a hole in a tree. Binoculars speedily focused on the hole, to find a black rat snake exiting the little bird’s nest cavity.

Snake Going Up Tree CloseupHe’d been lunching on her eggs, most likely, although we didn’t notice are large bulges along his body. Titmouse eggs are pretty small.

Snake Back Going Up Tree

All eyes stayed focused as he slowly wound his way out of the tree hole, and up the trunk, not down.

Snake Curled Up Back of TreeEventually, he moved to the other side of the tree, and curled up for an after lunch nap, while we headed back up the trail. What an exciting way to end a day of wildflower watching!