Where Chris and I are working reminds us a bit of a mix of the Everglades, which I think mentioned in the last Swamp Work post. It isn’t common to walk through thickets of cut grass, getting cut up by it as we walk through.
And then there is the mud slogging. Sometimes we’re able to walk through areas with a mostly hard bottom, albeit a little muddy, but then we get in areas that are 1-2′ thick of floating plants and root matter and once you break through that it’s mud on the bottom. Then you slog through that. Previously these areas in the ‘glades would’ve been accessed by airboats or swamp buggies but we don’t have permission to use those in the area we are working. Instead we get around by boat, then canoe in smaller channels and then of course, mud slogging after that!
Then there’s this one that we must’ve both walked over on the way to a point and when I turned around to put my pack down I went back towards this tree, stopped and was inches from throwing the pack on the ground when I saw this copperhead crawl from between my legs and straight for the place my pack was going. Needless to say I jumped back and screeched.
It was an anxiety filled few hours as we collected our data at that point. Chris shooed the snake to the other side of the tree where it coiled up and stayed calm for most of the time. While we were doing our work two garter snakes came around and slithered by us for about thirty minutes. I was more concerned they’d piss off the copperhead but after she moved back a little closer towards us to coil up the garters disappeared as we did soon after.
We’ve also seen two deer swimming across the Neches River, a really cool sight, and then two other deer another morning sipping water by the shore. Not too many birds and so far no alligators, but I am *done* with snakes. The garters are cool, but the poisonous ones—nah!
All in a days work!