As fans of Raiders of the Lost Ark will remember, Indiana Jones was not fond of snakes. If you aren't fond of the creatures either, you might want to skip this post and come back next week.
For some reason, I am not generally as observant of the many water snakes that populate the impoundments and banks of the refuge. However, in the past week two different people shared interesting scenes of water snake life, that I thought you would enjoy.
First, along the banks of the Cross-dike Trail, there was a female water snake and 5 males in a mating ball. From my reading the females once pregnant are unable to reproduce again for a relatively long time. So when a female is ready males race for the opportunity. My understanding is that males are attracted by her pheromone trail. For the males the attraction is to be the first to breed and pass on their genetics to the next generation.
If all that was a bit much for you, here are some pretty pictures of some of the flora that is blooming at the refuge.
If you've been at the refuge on one of our recent hot days, you have probably seen a Great Blue Heron with extended inverted wings trying to cool itself. I saw this one up ahead on the path and slowly advanced. At one point it dropped it's beak and bowed its head. All I could think of was the minister holding open his arms and saying "Let us pray."