Everglades National Park in the rain

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robert
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Everglades National Park in the rain

Post by robert »

All:

I will be in Everglades National Park for the next two days. But it is supposed to rain on and off for the next couple of days (The hazard of scheduling flights well in advance).. Should I give up all hope of seeing snakes? Any suggestions to make the best of a wet situation.

Thanks--all suggestions are greatly appreciated.

Robert

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Josh Young
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Re: Everglades National Park in the rain

Post by Josh Young »

Rain is a good thing for cruising around sunset and after that in ENP. It'll bring out mostly natricines, such as water snakes, ribbons snakes, garter snakes, Florida brown snakes, crayfish snakes and swamp snakes. It'll also possibly bring out mud snakes. Cottonmouths will likely be present. Other species not inhibited to move during or after rain are scarlet snakes, scarlet kingsnakes, brooks kingsnakes, as well as rat snakes (corns and yellow/everglades) and even burmese pythons. It's mostly dependent of the temperatures as well, but snakes will move in wet conditions in temps into the 50s (at least I know a few will like cottonmouths, garters, ribbons, and Nerodia). So I wouldn't expect for rainy weather to dampen your chances of seeing any snakes. It might even scare out a coral snake.

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Josh Holbrook
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Re: Everglades National Park in the rain

Post by Josh Holbrook »

Josh Young wrote:Rain is a good thing for cruising around sunset and after that in ENP. It'll bring out mostly natricines, such as water snakes, ribbons snakes, garter snakes, Florida brown snakes, crayfish snakes and swamp snakes. It'll also possibly bring out mud snakes. Cottonmouths will likely be present. Other species not inhibited to move during or after rain are scarlet snakes, scarlet kingsnakes, brooks kingsnakes, as well as rat snakes (corns and yellow/everglades) and even burmese pythons. It's mostly dependent of the temperatures as well, but snakes will move in wet conditions in temps into the 50s (at least I know a few will like cottonmouths, garters, ribbons, and Nerodia). So I wouldn't expect for rainy weather to dampen your chances of seeing any snakes. It might even scare out a coral snake.

You've been out of SFL too long, Josh :beer: . Rain is usually a kiss of death for snakes in SFL, especially winter rains.

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BillMcGighan
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Re: Everglades National Park in the rain

Post by BillMcGighan »

Robert,
Josh squared are two of the most knowledgeable folks about south Florida you'll encounter here, even with diverse opinions.



However, if you're committed now, go for it full throttle.

The last 25 years I worked, my job took me to different places for 1 or 2 weeks per every 6 weeks. When work took me into the range of an animal I wanted to see and weather wasn't at ludicrous extremes, I herped on my spare time.
I can't tell you how many times I was surprised with a good find, sometimes not even my target, while all odds pointed the other way.
Some of these trips, this work opportunity made me herp in places and times when I did not have a choice, so, if the trip is in stone, go for it with gusto.

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Josh Young
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Re: Everglades National Park in the rain

Post by Josh Young »

Josh Holbrook wrote:
Josh Young wrote:Rain is a good thing for cruising around sunset and after that in ENP. It'll bring out mostly natricines, such as water snakes, ribbons snakes, garter snakes, Florida brown snakes, crayfish snakes and swamp snakes. It'll also possibly bring out mud snakes. Cottonmouths will likely be present. Other species not inhibited to move during or after rain are scarlet snakes, scarlet kingsnakes, brooks kingsnakes, as well as rat snakes (corns and yellow/everglades) and even burmese pythons. It's mostly dependent of the temperatures as well, but snakes will move in wet conditions in temps into the 50s (at least I know a few will like cottonmouths, garters, ribbons, and Nerodia). So I wouldn't expect for rainy weather to dampen your chances of seeing any snakes. It might even scare out a coral snake.
You've been out of SFL too long, Josh :beer: . Rain is usually a kiss of death for snakes in SFL, especially winter rains.

It's still in the 80s though, and I was just down there and things were moving well without rain. I felt a rain would've brought more stuff out, especially snakes like crayfish snakes and scarlet snakes. I never had any problems in West Palm with rains if it was still in the 80s, I'd still see the majority of what was my common snakes during/after rains during this time of year. I was in ENP in December in 2013 and had a decent night with rain, got a juvenile brooks king in it as well as water snakes, ribbons, garters, cottons, corns and a scarlet, and it was on the cooler side. I always liked rain when I lived in SoFla.

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Noah M
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Re: Everglades National Park in the rain

Post by Noah M »

Even here in northern Florida rain will get some things moving. Garters and cottonmouths I think will move as long as they're not frozen solid.

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Josh Holbrook
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Re: Everglades National Park in the rain

Post by Josh Holbrook »

Josh Young wrote:
Josh Holbrook wrote:
Josh Young wrote:Rain is a good thing for cruising around sunset and after that in ENP. It'll bring out mostly natricines, such as water snakes, ribbons snakes, garter snakes, Florida brown snakes, crayfish snakes and swamp snakes. It'll also possibly bring out mud snakes. Cottonmouths will likely be present. Other species not inhibited to move during or after rain are scarlet snakes, scarlet kingsnakes, brooks kingsnakes, as well as rat snakes (corns and yellow/everglades) and even burmese pythons. It's mostly dependent of the temperatures as well, but snakes will move in wet conditions in temps into the 50s (at least I know a few will like cottonmouths, garters, ribbons, and Nerodia). So I wouldn't expect for rainy weather to dampen your chances of seeing any snakes. It might even scare out a coral snake.
You've been out of SFL too long, Josh :beer: . Rain is usually a kiss of death for snakes in SFL, especially winter rains.

It's still in the 80s though, and I was just down there and things were moving well without rain. I felt a rain would've brought more stuff out, especially snakes like crayfish snakes and scarlet snakes. I never had any problems in West Palm with rains if it was still in the 80s, I'd still see the majority of what was my common snakes during/after rains during this time of year. I was in ENP in December in 2013 and had a decent night with rain, got a juvenile brooks king in it as well as water snakes, ribbons, garters, cottons, corns and a scarlet, and it was on the cooler side. I always liked rain when I lived in SoFla.

My experience was that rains would hamper movement except in July-ish when there wasn't more than a night or two that was dry during the week. You're right in that ENP can produce even during the rain, but I find it sub-par, even for aquatics a lot of times (except cottonmouths.) But, I guess that's the great part about herping: snakes don't read the field guides, so I don't doubt you've had some great nights in the rain. I know this becomes less of an issue as you head north, as Noah mentioned. And I'd go with what Bill said for sure - bad odds just make the victory sweeter - I once found a 5ft EDB and an adult simus with Dan Dye when it was 63 degrees, windy and damp. :thumb: It was one of my favorite days of herping ever.

robert
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Re: Everglades National Park in the rain

Post by robert »

Josh and Josh (and others)

First, thanks for taking the time to answer my post. I followed both of your advice and it turns out both of you were correct. On days with rain, I worked extra hard. I am a cyclist and so I did my road riding on a bike. Up and down the last 5-6 miles of the park road. On over two hours of riding, I dId not see a single snake on the road (as predicted by Josh H who has graciously taken me around the park in years past). But given the comments of Bill, I kept going. Eventually I found a nice juvenile Florida kingsnake. The next day, lest rain, and the same amount of effort. Eventually I cam up with two corn snakes and MY FIRST EVER SCARLET KING! So all the riding (with Josh Y's words ringing in my ears) was worth it. The next day started with a lot of fog, but many hours of riding in the Pinelands netted me a really large Eastern diamondback!

So, the snaking was hard, not productive in terms of quantity (a few other water snakes and a scarlet snake), but from my limited perspective, really high quality snakes. So, Josh H was basically correct, not too productive, but the effort inspired by Josh Y lead to great finds.

Now if I can only figure out how to post photos, I will add them. I must say, I have a fabulous close-up of the EDB that I would like to share.

Here goes...Let's start with the kingsnake

https://www.flickr.com/photos/130038411 ... 271905966/

Next, the Eastern diamond back, first what I think is a pretty cool head-on ground level shot. It really looks good when the image fills the screen

https://www.flickr.com/photos/130038411 ... 111987347/

A more traditional shot

https://www.flickr.com/photos/130038411 ... 677963383/

And finally, a life-long dream. I remember when I was in fourth grade, my dad bought me A field guide to reptiles and amphibians. I found the scarlet kingsnake and could not believe that there really was a snake that looked that that image. And now I saw it in the wild...

https://www.flickr.com/photos/130038411 ... 111989787/

So, any suggestions why the photo does not show up in the post? You can click on the URL to see the photo

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Josh Young
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Re: Everglades National Park in the rain

Post by Josh Young »

Congrats on the juvenlie brooks king, that was pretty much the only snake that eluded myself and the others I was with when we were just down there before the new year.

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Josh Holbrook
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Re: Everglades National Park in the rain

Post by Josh Holbrook »

Looks like its a draw with our herping prowess this time Josh! :thumb:

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mtratcliffe
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Re: Everglades National Park in the rain

Post by mtratcliffe »

Glad you were able to turn up some snakes!

robert
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Re: Everglades National Park in the rain

Post by robert »

Josh Y:

Embarrassed to expose my ignorance for all the world to see, but how could you tell that the kingsnake was a juvenile brooks as opposed to a juvenile florida kingsnake?

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Josh Holbrook
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Re: Everglades National Park in the rain

Post by Josh Holbrook »

robert wrote:Josh Y:

Embarrassed to expose my ignorance for all the world to see, but how could you tell that the kingsnake was a juvenile brooks as opposed to a juvenile florida kingsnake?
Range - it's hard to tell if they'll look classic brooksi when full grown at that size.

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JakeScott
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Re: Everglades National Park in the rain

Post by JakeScott »

Robert, here is how you post pictures from Flickr:

Red Arrow: Click that little arrow on your screen.

Then;

Yellow Arrow: Make sure you click the "BBCode"

Then;

No arrow color; choose a size. I like 800 x 600 or 1024 x 768 myself

Then;

Blue Arrow: Copy that link and paste it directly into the post.

Image

-Jake

Lloyd Heilbrunn
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Re: Everglades National Park in the rain

Post by Lloyd Heilbrunn »

I'm going to add my vote that the odds are against you down here in the rain, but sometimes you beat the odds.....

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Biker Dave
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Re: Everglades National Park in the rain

Post by Biker Dave »

What are the odds for mid June at ENP and S Florida? I'm thinking of making the trip from Arizona to ENP. Flights are dirt cheap now!

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BillMcGighan
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Re: Everglades National Park in the rain

Post by BillMcGighan »

PM sent

Lloyd Heilbrunn
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Re: Everglades National Park in the rain

Post by Lloyd Heilbrunn »

Biker Dave wrote:
April 16th, 2020, 7:01 pm
What are the odds for mid June at ENP and S Florida? I'm thinking of making the trip from Arizona to ENP. Flights are dirt cheap now!
Before you make the trip, you might want to make sure that ENP is open.

It's not right now.

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Biker Dave
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Re: Everglades National Park in the rain

Post by Biker Dave »

I'm well aware that everything fun is closed. The way things are going we'll be lucky if anything opens before Christmas.

Jimi
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Re: Everglades National Park in the rain

Post by Jimi »

everything fun is closed
Hey, the Great Basin is wide open. All the distance you need.

Lloyd Heilbrunn
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Re: Everglades National Park in the rain

Post by Lloyd Heilbrunn »

Jimi wrote:
May 3rd, 2020, 3:44 pm
everything fun is closed
Hey, the Great Basin is wide open. All the distance you need.
Strangely, in Florida the state and national parks seem to be closed, but the state and national forests are open.

Pretty sure the wildlife management areas are closed as well.

It's a real shame that people that actually go to the natural areas all the time, are precluded from doing so due to crowds caused by people who normally don't go there....

Jimi
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Re: Everglades National Park in the rain

Post by Jimi »

In Utah at the federal level it seems to be a USDA / USDI thing: NPS and BLM campgrounds have been closed but USFS campgrounds have been open. A few of our Colorado Plateau counties have closed their (federal public lands) backcountries to dispersed camping because there's only a dozen or two hospital beds in an area of, say, West Virginia. (Some of our counties are the size of Mid-Atlantic or New England states.) But, for the most part if you can handle primitive camping, there's all the room in the world out here for you.

Our state parks were closed to visitors who reside in counties other than the one hosting the park. But that order was recently reversed. Most of our WMAs are annually closed in late winter and early spring ,to protect vulnerable resident animals coming out of winter, from the stress of people being all over the place. No change there this year. They're open now.


It's a real shame that people that actually go to the natural areas all the time, are precluded from doing so due to crowds caused by people who normally don't go there....


Well. I call it ironic and a bit frustrating, but not truly lamentable. My hope is that those under-appreciators now realize the value of nature and open space, and behave accordingly. Whether in their personal lives, their political lives, whatever. It takes staff and budgets and an informed citizenry to have and maintain a conservation estate.
...the state and national forests are open. ... Pretty sure the wildlife management areas are closed as well.


When I was in FL FWC had 1.5 million acres or so of agency-owned ("fee title" or "lead") WMAs, but also had about 4 million acres of "co-op" or "overlay" WMAs. (I suspect these numbers have gone up with new acquisitions.) These were state and national forest lands, Water Management District lands, the primary managers of which had agreements with FWC to allow hunting and fishing according to FWC rules. But the primary managers are, well, the primary managers. I found this:
which says what's up, where. It seems that campgrounds and other places that would crowd people together are closed, but for the most part it appears you can still drive up and down the dirt roads and stop wherever you like to hop out for a minute, an hour, a day, or an overnight. Dispersed camping looks to be open, mostly - the 5 Water Mgt Districts being a glaring exception. A lot of those are pretty buggy and soggy anyway, so no huge loss there. Ha ha.

I hope you can get out and enjoy life getting on with its business. All the other Earthlings could give a crap about our species' little problem...they are still out there to be observed and enjoyed.

Good hunting!

Lloyd Heilbrunn
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Re: Everglades National Park in the rain

Post by Lloyd Heilbrunn »

I went to the FWC link. Almost everything in South East Florida where I live is still closed.

A couple Saturdays ago I was in Hendry County and Spirit Of The Wild WMC was open.

I don't know if if it's because Dade, Broward, and Palm Beach counties have had the strictest closings in the state or not.

Palm Beach County opens up Monday in what they're calling stage #1, we will will see if the parks and WMCs are open.

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