Sunday, April 19, 2009

Crossvine and the Critter

On Saturday, I had a work day at Cave Lake YMCA camp near Latham, OH. It was a great day and I had all kinds of cool encounters that I will cover in another post. Since I was so close to Shawnee and the Crossvine, Bignonia capreolata, was not in bloom yet a couple weekends ago on the Wild Ones trip, I shot down there afterwards hoping to get a few pics and see this amazing flower. I was not disappointed.

I got to the cliff face where the Crossvine was located. I scanned the wall and found a lovely patch blooming not too far up. I took a few pics and realized-hey, if I step there and climb up a bit here, I could get a really good view.
I am a bit of a clutz. One of my nicknames is "Grace" because of my awkwardness, so I was being very careful. I have broken a few ribs, a finger and have sprained ankles on past forays. I did not want that to happen. So I cautious stepped to make sure I had secure footing, then up I went slow and easy.
The blossoms were even more breath-taking close up. I was standing there cheesing like a Cheshire cat. I had asked my brother to come along, but he was pooped from the work day. So it was just me and the flowers and I was taking it all in. Then I heard a rustling noise...

Just where I had stepped, I noticed a tan snake with a dark-brown block shaped pattern disappear into the cliff face. My heart went into my throat. Yes, boys and girls. A Timber Rattler. Right where I had just stepped in my Keen sandals moments before.

Oh, but did that stop me. Oh, no! I had been wishing to see a wild Timber Rattlesnake for quite a while. I will willingly pick up most non-venomous ones, to the shock of some of my friends. And, I needed a few more pics. So, I figured I was going to make sure Mr. Snake had a chance to go his way, before I stepped back down. Click, click, click...

So I got my Crossvine and a Timber Rattler to boot! What a nice way to end the day! I called my friend, John Howard, and he let me know that Timber Rattlesnakes here in Ohio are fairly docile. Good information to know!


  1. I didn't realize that a crossvine would grow this far north. Beautiful. Be careful of those snakes. It was probably too cold to strike. I would love to see a photo of one. Maybe next time??

  2. Yep, just sneaks into Ohio

    and Indiana

  3. I just took some photos of that vine yesterday..I didnt know what it was...thanks!
    I didnt encounter a snake thank goodness.
    Glad you didnt step on it.