Last week we visited with Paula's brother and sister-in-law at their home in Elm Springs, Arkansas.  On Saturday we joined a group of their friends for a hike in the Ozark National Forest, on a small section of the Ozark Highland Trail.  It was a beautiful day and several varieties of wild flowers were in bloom.

Here's a shot of most of the group enjoying the view from one of the overlooks along the trail.

At the highest point on the trail there was the remains of an old homestead near a small campground where we stopped and had lunch.

Here's the view from our lunch stop where you can see the trail that we were heading for on our way down the mountain.

Toward the end of the hike Paula spotted a SNAKE by the side of the trail.  On further investigation we determined that it was a non-poisonous black rat snake.

According to Wikipedia, "when spotted by humans, Black Rat Snakes may freeze and wrinkle themselves into a series of kinks. If cornered, they may attempt to mimic rattlesnakes' behavior by vibrating the tip of their tail, giving a buzzing low-pitch sound. Black Rat Snakes are usually non-aggressive, but may strike at anyone who tries to capture or harm them. They are non-venomous, and bites are not usually serious."

We did, in fact, see this behavior.  The snake struck at the person hiking in front of Paula and then vibrated the tip of its tail.

This week we are in Denver visiting granddaughter Coralyn for a few days...oh, and her parents Marc and Lisa are there too...then we are off to Devil's Tower to see Pat and Lewis Jett on our way to Polson, MT for the continue our adventure.


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