July 23, 2020

Six Foot Ratsnake

Eastern Ratsnake, Oglethorpe County, Georgia
Large six foot Eastern Black Rat Snake forked tongue, Georgia
© Photographer: William Wise | iNat observation: 53845509
A frantic friend called me with a “giant rattlesnake” in his yard. Knowing it probably wasn’t a rattlesnake, I kept making excuses to not drive out to his Oglethorpe County home. But he kept insisting, “it will be worth your while.”

On arrival it was, of course, gone from the spot where he first spotted it. After about 5 minutes of flipping logs, my friend saw it over in a nearby brush pile. I love the yells of excitement and fear heard on the video as I pulled this big Eastern Ratsnake out from the debris and onto the open ground!

I measured it right at six-feet; probably one of the biggest I’ve caught. It had a squirrel-sized lump in its belly. My friend counted all his chickens and none were missing.

Posted on July 23, 2020 13:17 by williamwisephoto williamwisephoto | 0 comments | Leave a comment

June 28, 2020

Colossal Cave Mountain Park, Arizona

Saguaro Cactus desert mountains, Colossal Cave Mountain Park, Arizona
© Photographer: William Wise | Agency: Dreamstime.com
At 11:00 AM, we arrived at Colossal Cave Mountain park about an hour-and-a-half ahead of the rest of our friends from church. So we took a short mountain desert hike up the Arizona Trail. It was such a stereotypical southwestern desert scene! A hot, bright high noon sun overhead; burning sand and rocks underneath our feet; parched lips and not a spot of shade to be found. The desert mountains stretched off into the distance and a Turkey Vulture soared overhead.
White Winged Dove, Colossal Cave Mountain Park, Arizona
© Photographer: William Wise | Agency: Dreamstime.com
In this high heat, not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse! We hiked about a mile and turned back to meet our group. In a dry creek bed near the trail-head, I spotted a Blue Grosbeak singing in the scrub. I was sort of taken aback, for it was odd to see a regular visitor in my green Georgia backyard out in this dry, brown desert.

Up at Colossal Cave entrance we met up with our friends. Our group being so large, my wife and I stayed back from touring the cave (which we had both been into before). More time for photography on the short nature trail!
Black Throated Sparrow bird, Colossal Cave Mountain Park, Arizona
© Photographer: William Wise | Agency: Dreamstime.com
On all my last visits to the Tucson International Bible Conference over the last 25 years of my salvation, reptiles were the focus of my desert treks, if time allowed for any treks at all. But with birding being my “new thing”, the afternoon was filled with excitement. So many Life Birds! One special shot in particular was of a Zone-tailed Hawk soaring overhead. A zoomed in display on the Nikon view screen showed a small lizard in the grip of his talons.
Saguaro Cactus desert mountains, Colossal Cave Mountain Park, Arizona
© Photographer: William Wise | Agency: Dreamstime.com

Posted on June 28, 2020 10:38 by williamwisephoto williamwisephoto | 0 comments | Leave a comment

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