Snake Tracks Field Report for Zoe 8-3-12

10 Aug

Snake Tracks Field Report for Zoe 8-3-12

I apologize that this post is a bit late. Again this was due to technical difficulties beyond my control (sick modem).

Due to the length of both Zoe and Utsanati’s locates and videos on this locate day I will be posting their locates separately.

On August 03 I started my snake hunt near Zoe’s last location in the field. Her signal showed me that she had seemed to have moved up above the waterfall so I decided to drive around the mountain and drop in from the top. I thought that this route would be easier–boy was I ever wrong. After arriving near the top of the mountain and realizing that I had no signal I decided that I would hike down to the waterfall and find her signal on the way down. I started on what was a well groomed trail but it quickly closed in and disappeared entirely giving way to thick laurels and chin high shrubs–thank goodness for snake chaps.

After awhile I came out on the old trail to the falls. It was easy going and after awhile I arrived near the top of the falls where I explored the rock outcrops and rock shelter before making my way to the bottom of the falls. After cooling off in the creek I again picked up Zoe’s signal and headed off toward her location. I was a bit miffed at myself because her signal led me once again to the field–where I had just located her signal about an hour before. Next time I will start from her last location as I usually do.

I followed her signal through the field, past the large maples on the hill, and into my friends Dave and Christina’s yard! Zoe’s signal put her in a deep gully just below a trail. I was unable to physically access her location due to the steepness of the slope and the obvious danger of falling on a rattlesnake! I needed to collect my data so Dave and I rigged a rope to a large tree and I used it to lower myself down the steep embankment to get closer to Zoe.

I found her coiled on the surface in a resting coil. She looked very healthy and never moved or rattled despite the fact that three noisy humans were only a few feet away.

It is very interesting to note that Zoe has visited Dave and Christina before! About a year ago Christina took a video of Zoe only about 15 feet from where I found her today. This just shows that Timber rattlesnakes, like box turtles, are creatures of habit and they follow the same paths year after year!

I collected my data, climbed back up the mountain and said goodbye to Zoe the Timber rattlesnake.

Zoe’s Danger Level is a 5 due to her close proximity to human habitation.

I again located Zoe on 8-8-12 and she was in the same position as on 8-3-12.

For all the details of this snake hunt take a look at the video below. Keep in mind that it is the extended version of my trek. I wanted to show you some of what it takes to keep track of these snakes in their native habitat. Also keep in mind that I am not paid to do this research–this is a volunteer project that I am undertaking to learn all that I can about these amazing animals and to further educate you about their beauty, uniqueness and value to a healthy forest ecosystem.

Watch the video below for details and vision of the last locate day for Zoe.

If you would like to support the Snake Tracks Timber Rattlesnake wildlife conservation, research, and education project and/or Earthshine Nature Programs please feel free to donate using this link. Receipts available upon request. THANK YOU!!

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