Lana and I went for a walk last evening at the Flatwoods Preserve, which I've mentioned here before. The Flatwoods is about a mile from our place and we've never seen another human there, although we have seen a few human tracks. The Preserve is a place where conservationists are trying to maintain a combination of Longleaf Pine savannah and Bayhead swamp, some 90% of which has been lost in the USA. There is a boardwalk called "Pitcher Plant Trail" for all the carnivorous Pitcher plants that grow alongside it. Below is a picture of the boardwalk.
There is also a grass and dirt path that Lana and I tpyically detour on to get further back into the preserve area. It is along that pathway, along about here
that I came within two steps of putting my foot down on a Cottonmouth Water Moccasin. He had clearly heard me coming because he had his mouth open toward me and I swear I could see his fangs dripping a clear and evil venom. (Ok, maybe I exaggerate about the clearness of the venom.) Let me tell you that I gave a quick little hop, skip and jump backward, said movement which was accompanied by a small shriek. Nothing seems to get the heart rate up like a snake in your path.
In fact, we've seen snakes most of our times at the Flatwoods. Most have been non-poisonous but we did see a small Copperhead. Both Lana and I decided to wear boots next trip.
Besides snakes, we saw four huge spiders, one green one and three of the yellow and black garden variety. One of the latter had only 7 legs. I guess there's a story there, a life and death struggle on a micro scale.
How many of you have ever imagined what if you were shrunk down to insect size? I have. And I've always loved books and stories in that vein. My favorites were the three "micronaut" books by Gordon Williams, but there's almost enough of these kinds of stories to be a whole subgenre. I just read one called "Killer Pine," by Lindsay Gutteridge. This is one of a series about a micro spy. And, of course, there is TV/Movie tie-in with such offerings as Honey I shrunk the Kids and, my favorite, Land of the Giants.
Imagine, you wake up one morning on a vast snowy plain. But it is a warm plain, a plain of cotton rather than snow. In the night you've been shrunken down. Your bed is now an unexplored world, full of it's own valleys and hills. In the distance you see a dark shape coming toward you across the white expanse. I guess you better hope you don't have bed bugs.