Nature Photowalk on the Falls of Neuse Trail- snakes, birds & Turtles.
When going out on a nature photo walk, you should expect to see some nature right? Well, my most recent walk lived up to my expectations - snakes, birds, and giant turtles. I'll get to that in a minute, .. but first let me set the scene. i love finding new places to take pictures. This time I went to the "Falls of Neuse" trail. In a previous life, i'd stay away ... far away from any place where "neuses" and "falling" are said in the same breath.. let alone the same sentence. In this case the river happens to be names the Neuse River, There is also Falls of New Lake, Falls of Neuse Road... so I've grown used to these terms being used in conjunction.
Anyway, so I'm taking pictures of budding trees after a fresh rain along the Falls of Neuse trail... when I look over to my right and see a snake... out in the wide open... just chillin' on some rocks.
Now, I do not trust my "T.V. Knoweledge" of snakes to go any closer than my telephoto lens would allow me. I assume that this snake was dead since it didn't take off... although it could have been out sunbathing -- trying to get its body temperature up after hiding during the recent rain storm. It doesn't matter which one is true, .. I was by myself, without any working snake knowledge and not willing to tempt God.
We all know a lack of knowledge can lead to fear... but I'm not saying I was afraid. But I was keenly aware of my surroundings from here on out. My senses were so heightened at this point that I noticed something up ahead on the trail.
At first I thought two women were trying to help an injured animal, then I got closer and I could see that instead of helping they were kind of staring and looking in either disgust or curiosity. It could have been a dog, Racoon anything.Then another woman walked up with her son and dog.
She tied the dog to a pole and they walked over. So, I knew what ever was up ahead was going to be some sort of spectacle.. and the latest group all but confirmed it when mom pulled out her iPhone and started taking pictures. By this time I was up on it... a huge, ugly looking turtle.
My pictures show it kind of laying down and crouched away.. but at this point it was up on all fours and looking to be ready to make a run .... or meander for it. This turtle was huge.. had to be at least 30 or 40 pounds with a long tail on it... that looked like it was borrowed from an alligator. Later, another astonished jogger seemed to identify it as an "Alligator Turtle."
After a quick google search it seemed to resemble one, but the jury is still out on just what this this is and was. I think I'll call him Donatello. This time I was ready to show some of my tv based knoweledge of wild animals. I put my hand over its head and... as if on cue... Donatello open his/her mouth.
Anyway, that was the extent of my exciting walk on the Falls of Neuse trail on Friday. Enjoy the rest of the pictures.
By the way -- the Neuse River is actually named after a Native American Tribe. that settlers knew as Neusiok. They later called the area Neusick. So, calm down folks... no slavery links here.