Sunday, April 23, 2006


Lachlan & I took an afternoon walk on the Hammock Hills Nature Trail (directly across the road from the NPS campground). We were fortunate to see two Canada geese feeding alongside Island Creek. While we were watching, a large nutria (O'cockers call it a Russian rat) poked its head out from the marsh grass, just a few feet from the geese.

Nutria have two large front teeth, but are herbivores. They are normally nocturnal, so it was rare to see one in the daytime. The geese seemed to pay the nutria no mind. However, one goose flapped its wings and the nutria took notice. When the goose took to flight the nutria did a strange thing. It jumped up in the air and attemped to grab the goose's foot! What, I wondered, did it think it would do if it had caught the goose?

Not three paces later we spotted a snake slither up onto the boardwalk, but as soon as it noticed us it dropped back down into the needle grass.

Lachlan also learned about a prolific native plant that lines the nature trail. "Don't step in the poison ivy," he repeated over and over again.

You can read our latest newsletter here: It's the story of Old Kade.

1 comment:

  1. Anonymous2:25 PM

    I too once spied a snake slithering across my path while walking the Hammock Hills trail. For future reference, can you provide any insight into the types (poisonous/nonpoisonous) and/or varieties of snakes native to Ocracoke. And are they very common? Thanks.