Paynes Prairie State Park is one of my favorite locations to photograph wildlife. There are countless species of animals that inhabit there, from a six-inch Ring-Necked Snake to a six-foot American Alligator! Paynes Prairie also is home to wild horses, American Bison, wild pigs, White Tailed Deer, Great Horned Owls, Great Blue Herons, Snowy Egrets, Cotton-Mouth Snakes, Rat Snakes, American Alligators, Snapping Turtles, and hundreds of others.
This is a female White Tailed Deer on the hiking path early in the morning. If you are in the park early you will be able to see a lot more wildlife, because the temperature is cooler and there are less people to disturb them.
We found a small herd of wild horses on the trail later on in our hike! They are three to five herds of these horses in the park, and they are all descendants of the horses the Spanish Conquistadors brought over in the 1400-1500’s!
Unfortunately some runners came down the path and scared the horses into the marsh next to the path. Like I said before, try to get out earlier so you reduce the amount of times that people will get between you and the animals.
On our way back to the trail head we saw a dark figure on the path ahead. When we got closer we saw that it was a Cotton Mouth Snake, also know as a Water Moccasin. It was over four feet long, but luckily for us it slithered off of the path and into the water!
When we were walking back to the campsite we saw this little Striped Rat Snake. We spooked it and it slithered right up a tree and onto a branch, where I took this shot!
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