A juvenile cottonmouth, also known as a water moccasin, slides through a shallow pool after a brief rain. .
Snakes are an important part of every ecosystem, eating and getting eaten by so many different animals. In urban and rural areas they help control rodent and insect populations as well as provide food for larger animals such as birds of prey. Snakes serve as middle-order predators that keep the entire ecosystem in balance. In addition to their environmental and intrinsic value, they also save millions of lives every year in the form of their venom. Breakthroughs in medical science continue to come from snakes as treatments to alleviate high blood pressure, heart conditions, kidney disease, stroke, diabetes and even cancer have all proven successful. Certain neurotoxins are now being tested to treat diseases such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s and medical teams continue to search for new snake-derived remedies currently unknown.
And for all of the small insects out there, (like the two above on its head and back) swimming through water can prove extremely difficult and time consuming. Snakes provide a much needed transportation system if you are small and in need of a lift.
We need snakes. And they need us.
(🔈ON) The secret life of Atlantic ghost crabs (Ocypode quadrata)// an appropriate name meaning swift-footed. This particular morning we watched as this crab diligently cleaned out its burrow, brining sand from the depths and dumping it at the top, paying no attention to us only feet away. Did you know their club-shaped eye stalks can rotate 360 degrees? What I would do to have that!
Maritime trail brings you from a soft sand dune landscape scattered with pine forests and immature shrubs to the open Atlantic Ocean. An almost ghostly scene, no one, no houses, no developments as far as the eye can see. Pure beauty. How lucky we are to still have wild places like this on earth - pristine coastlines, salt marshes, swamps, all teaming with wildlife. This doesn’t happen by mistake, instead the result of many hard earned years and longsighted visions to keep public lands wild.
Thank you @visitvirginia for letting us explore these amazing places right here in our own backyard. #virginiaoutdoors#loveva@freeflysystems
A six hundred-year-old cypress tree stands tall in the tannin waters of Lake Drummond, Great Dismal Swamp. This national wildlife refuge is a hidden gem, discovered best by paddle powered water craft. Six years ago I worked on site as a park ranger with the @usfws. Memories from those days, black bears, cotton farms, banjo nights, now merge with new ones bringing this swamp ever closer to my heart. Great to be back // first stop on a filmic adventure thanks to @visitvirginia#vaoutdoors#loveva
The International Crane Foundation in Baraboo Wisconsin is doing great work. They are responsible for the growing number of wild whooping cranes - North America's tallest bird and the rarest crane species in the world. Due to hunting and habitat loss, particularly wetlands, the whooping crane population fell to 14 individuals in the 1940s. With a lot of focused help this species has been given a second chance and has 612 individuals in the wild today! Shout out to the dedicated people working to keep these animals on our planet. Also at the #InternationalCraneFoundation there are many other threatened and endangered crane species from around the world. This grey crowned crane from East Africa was wildly curious about my iphone case and decided to test the manufacturing quality with a repetitive pecking technique. Sassy, but what a beauty!
#greycrownedcrane#baraboo#wisconsin#backfromthebrink w/ @kalpanaprakash@scottrlesh@tbfrost
((Sound on🔈)) A saltwater crocodile slides off a muddy bank on the Adelaide River and into the salty waters below. Northern Territory, Australia. .
45 years ago saltwater crocodiles were nearly extinct in northern Australia. Today they have rebounded to what scientists believe are historic population numbers. How did efforts succeed? I am very excited to share a photographic story @tbfrost has been working on for several years now published on @natgeo digital. Head over to his page for the link. .
The six months that I filmed on the project, over two years, was a tough and testing time three wrecked landcruisers, one terrible car accident, several smashed cameras, one tropical disease, many mosquito filled nights and a lot of wonderful memories. I still think back on that time fondly and know we need to go back. Maybe one day it will feel complete. This is a critical time for wildlife and conservation and solutions come in many forms. Check out one part of the story at @natgeo digital - "Inside the Rugged Lives of Crocodile Hunters"
Meet Leo. He is a young leopard frog who enjoys early morning hops along our backyard pond. His favorite pastime is relaxing on a somewhat moist bed of creeping thyme that hangs over the water. Currently he is solo and has not been with a lady in a very long time, possibly ever. I have no doubts he would be an agreeable mate and now that he has found the perfect home, my hopes are high that he finds a dependable partner next spring.
Found this beauty on the trail in #Nantahala National Forest while hiking down after the eclipse. A Timber rattlesnake, one of North America's most dangerous, head gently resting on a stick. They are known to use fallen logs as a waiting site for prey to pass by, giving them an elevated perch from which to strike. No hikers or snakes were harmed in the making of this photograph!
That moment you are reminded we are all sitting on a perfectly situated rock whirling around on a predictable path within a massive galaxy surrounded by a hundred billion other galaxies, each with countless solar systems, suns and moons of their own, and that it all is much larger and more complex than we could ever know and is expanding faster and faster and maybe, just maybe there's not just one universe, but multiple, or infinite multiverses and, uh yeah... thank you eclipse. And thank you clouds for clearing just in time.