Tuesday, August 16, 2005


Our swamp:

(Click for a larger image.)

It's not technically a swamp I guess, though it is definitely swampy.

More like a pond gone totally wild.

This is where the majority of the frogs congregate. With a similar area on a neighbor's property, when they're particularly loud (the frogs, not the neighbors) we're treated to stereo croaking.

When the real estate agent originally gave us a tour of the place, we had the distinct impression that she was trying to avoid showing us this part of the property. I guess most people would not be that happy to own a swamp. Little did she know that it would be one of the main attractions for us!

My husband saw a Cottonmouth (Water Moccasin) snake here about a week ago. I'm a little afraid of those snakes, since
a. They are venomous,
b. I've seen them act agressively, and
c. I'm don't always watch where I'm going the way that I should.


Jer said...

Nice swamp land!

No posionous snakes up here in New England, which is good because Zeke or I'd surely be bitten by now.

e said...

Everything is so painfully green where you live. Here, we're nearing the end of summer and all the trees are very dark green by now.
I do love your American frogs (from a distance)

LauraP said...

My father scared me half to death as a child with stories about the aggressive nature of water mocassins. I still get the shivers in likely habitat.

Hick said...

I am by no means a snake fan, so that would keep me away. But, it sure is beautiful.

Rexroth's Daughter said...

Great looking swampy area. Full of life, even if some of it is venomous. I'll be perfectly content if you never have a photograph of a Cottonmouth for us!

Ron Sullivan said...

Joe wants to know what kinds of frogs. (He also wants you to post a sound file... Well.)

I want to know if you have the getting-hit-over-the-head-with-a-banjo frog. The kind that goes "ffTUNNNNNGGG!" Joe tell me it's green frog, Rana clamitans.

roger said...

what a beautiful swamp! i want one. snakes and all. maybe our neighbors will go in on a co-op swamp.

Rainypete said...

I always chuckle at that name. Cottonmouth. Cottonmouth makes me grumpy so maybe that's why they're angry all the time.

Wayne said...

Karen, maybe somebody expert can comment on the cottonmouth possiblity. It was my impression that cottonmouths didn't show up above the "fall line", which here in Georgia is a southwest pointing line that cuts the state into the bottom 2/3 and the top 1/3. (If you travel through it, you know that there is a substantial upgrade coming from south to north.) I don't know what that means for you in north central Alabama, although my Audubon book confirms my range for Georgia and yet shows Alabama completely inundated with cottonmouths.

However, I do know that I run into all too often folks who kill snakes because they're "copperheads" (this is a favorite identification) when they're king snakes, rat snakes, or black racers, and claim to have survived waterskiing incidents with thousands of cottonmouths, when they're actually simple water snakes, if that.

So maybe someone, perhaps Florida Cracker, who probably knows about this, might comment.

shannon said...

Glad to see you're feeling beter and back on line :) We have a swamp too - it's called two separate ponds on our land survey, but, not so much :) I love it for the frogs and toads alone that fill our farm!

Charles said...

and they have no rattle to warn you.

Wayne said...

Let me modify what I said - I shouldn't have implied that the Ruralities didn't know a cottonmouth, as I know that's not the case.

I'm still interested in whether cottonmouths are to be found north of the fall line in Georgia though!

pablo said...

When #2 son was a pup, we were on a Scout camp out and he found a water mocassin. He reported to the adults because he thought someone might be looking for it. They told him just to leave it alone and it would go away. This left him puzzled, and I could see it in his face, so I pursued the matter. it turns out he found an "aqua sock" but he called it a water mocassin. We still laugh about that.

Rurality said...

Jer I never thought about New England not having poisonous snakes! Definitely a plus when you've got a curious dog.

E, we've got a good 1 - 2 months of summer weather left. Ugh. This time of year I'm longing for cooler days.

LauraP if you lived where there are a lot of them, it's probably not a bad thing!

Hick I try to not get down in there, but it's fun to hear the frogs and peek in at ducks that land there sometimes.

RD if you see one here you know it'll be taken with a long telephoto!

Ron, I haven't identified all the frogs yet! I did another post early in the spring with a sound file. It's here. I don't think I've heard any frogs getting hit with musical instruments. But there are some that sound a little like they have typewriters. (Kind of like a Rail actually.)

DPR it's great. The only bad thing is when Jasmine wants to romp in it.

Rainypete, yeah! Maybe they're just thirsty.

Wayne, yeah a lot of the books show that either Cottonmouths shouldn't be here, or that we are near the limit. But the locals all tell me they're here. I haven't seen one myself, and hubby was just "pretty sure" he saw one, but it was a brief view. Some of the maps I've seen show all of AL having Cottonmouths. So who knows? I think they are definitely less common here than in south Alabama.

Thanks Shannon. I haven't been able to make my blog rounds as much as usual because I've been so busy! But I'm getting there. :)

Charles, yeah! Once I almost stepped on one. Luckily he wasn't feeling agressive.

Pablo, LOL! It's funny how families will never let you live down something like that!

Floridacracker said...

What a great swampy wetland. You need a walkway and a blind out there so you can get closer to those cottonmouths without stepping on them.
After I read Wayne's post, I went to the University of Georgia and the cottonmouth distribution map does show them pretty much as Wayne said. They seem to be everywhere in the south except for the highlands according to the map.

A lot of nonvenomous watersnakes get killed as "cottonmouths". They look a lot like the real thing, are found in water, and are pretty feisty like the real thing.

Young cottonmouths really resemble copperheads, so they catch it from that end too.


Rurality said...

FC I would LOVE a walkway and a blond out there. Let me know when you're coming to install it. :)

I didn't know that the juvenile cottonmouths resembled copperheads so much! It makes me think that the tiny "copperhead" I saw in the ditch one time might have been something else instead.

Rurality said...

Hmm that was supposed to read "blind" instead of "blond". I have no idea what I'd do with a blond out there. :)

Anonymous said...

Your swampland is beautiful!

Your realtor story reminds me of ours....it was considered such a bad thing that a chunk of our land had been recently clearcut. We got a great deal on the homestead because of it, and honestly we love it....since we have no plans to go anywhere, we can watch the regrowth and all the wildlife that comes with it as it rehabitates. In the three years we've lived here it has exploded in growth and it's fascinating to see.

One man's trash is another man's treasure :)