Minnows and beer for breakfast only folks. A few images from my very first trip to Mingo National Wildlife Refuge nearly a decade ago. I’ve made many lasting nature memories here. Probably because it’s a rather unique ecosystem for my part of the woods. I keep telling myself I’ll bring a fishing pole next time…

A cottonmouth chilllin’ on a rocky slope overlooking the swamp. This friendly friend is venomous. It’s best to learn the patterns of venomous species in your area instead of relying on ID “tricks”. IN my part of the woods but maybe not yours, venomous snakes have diamond shaped heads, but non-venomous snakes will flatten their heads into diamond-like shapes to look more scary, along with vibrating their tails in leaves to fake a rattle.  

Once a huge black rat snake reared up and shock its tail at me real hard on a trail. It was just about the CUTEST THING EVER.

Agkistrodon piscivorus

Dusk at Mingo National Wildlife Refuge. Long ago, the area’s trees were harvested for lumber and in preparation for farmland large ditches were carved for irrigation. Today, the area is know for it’s migratory bird habitat and bottomland hardwood forest.

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