Today's hike was in another section of Bankhead that we really haven't explored much. We've driven by the trail head, but this was our first time to hike the trail. This trail is not as well maintained as others and at a couple of points along the way we had to make our best guess before picking up the path again. Most of the way is on what looks like an old logging trail but you have to leave that and find the footpath more than once. Still this was an enjoyable trip. Along for the walk was our newly adopted little brother, Marc, that we met while the kids and I were doing theater together. Marc came with his dog, "Spotty".
The pictures are in no particular order, starting with the flowers that I don't know what they are. Esther thinks the second one is some kind of cardinal flower.
|Spotty considers the log bridge...|
|...then makes her own way across the creek|
The trail ends for the most part at Sougahoagdee Falls.
While the falls were nice, the possible high point of the trip was seeing the first venomous snakes of the year! We've come across maybe twenty or thirty snakes this year and these are the only two that could have caused us some serious harm. The rattler was about a foot and a half in length and the copperhead was a respectable three feet long. Marc spotted the rattler from the trail and thought it was a feather at first. You can see how it stands out a little from the leaves on the ground. The copperhead, however... well, just back away from your monitor a little bit and see how easily it blends into the forest floor. I had already walked past it, Marc probably stepped over it and it wasn't until Esther almost walked right through it (followed by a loud expletive) that any of us knew it was there.
Unlike the water snakes we saw last week, this was undoubtedly a copperhead. Vertically slit pupils, flat angular head, and the dark bands that are thicker near the belly clearly identify it as the venomous snake.
Tracklog of our hike is here.
All the pictures can be found here.