This is a scarlet snake. It’s easily mistaken for either a scarlet kingsnake or a coral snake, but you can tell it’s neither by the fact that the bands of red and black are only on the snake’s back. The belly is white. Coral snakes and scarlet kingsnakes have bands that go all the way around the body.
Scarlet snakes live in the southeast and as far west as Oklahoma and Texas. They eat mostly small rodents and reptiles, and reptile eggs. A large adult might get up to two feet long.
That pointy head helps them burrow into sand. The head always starts with red at the nose, unlike coral snakes, which start with black. (The “red touch yellow, kill a fellow” rule is good only in the US. If you go to Central America, the coral snakes are a lot less standardized.)
Here, Internet. Have a tiny pinewoods treefrog from 5 years ago in Walton County, Florida.
And here, me: a reminder that having a mostly indoor job doesn’t mean you can’t go hiking on weekends.
In other news, I’m not dead, and neither is this blog. The hiatus just lasted longer than expected. More to come.
For months, I’ve been meaning to write a long post on this topic. I might still do it one day, but in the meantime, here’s an article that explains why Smoky Bear was wrong: it’s sometimes a good idea to set forest fires. California’s Explosive Wildfire Call for More Southern-Inspired Prescribed Burning
When I first moved to North Carolina, I didn’t have a place to live lined up. I figured I’d camp out at a park for a few days until I found one. Lucky for me, NC has approximately a bazillion state parks, and I found one nearby with a campground.
A few days turned into two weeks, during which it rained the ENTIRE TIME and I got more and more frustrated as various possibilities fell through. At one point, I posted this extremely green photo on Instagram and Facebook:
My concerned friends back in Florida replied that they hoped this was just a temporary situation. It did turn out to be temporary, and a friend who lived in the area called some of her friends, and they offered me a place to stay for a couple of days. Then I finally managed to find someone with a room to rent who didn’t sound creepy and didn’t think I sounded creepy. And after a year of that, I moved into a little house all by myself, and I still live there.
So, this photo? This is not home. This is just the spot where I was camping this weekend. For fun. And it didn’t even rain!