This past weekend as the adventures in Reptilian Conquests continued, our crew found itself back on the Erie Islands. After filming there almost 2 months ago we returned to finish shooting the Lake Erie Water Snake (LEWS) segment. We had pretty good luck last time around but we were not completely happy with the size of the snakes captured. This time around was another story...I will have the scars to prove it.
In addition to filming LEWS we also returned to shoot some aerial footage of the islands to use as establishing shots.
With the help of an amazing islander who is also a veteran pilot we took to the skies and shot some incredible stuff...
With storms moving in the aerial work was risky but well worth it.
While on North Bass Island we focused on capturing LEWS. Early on in the filming I spotted the biggest snake I had ever seen...it must have been close to 6 feet long and was as big around as my arm. The snake took off quickly into a break wall along side of the lake and thrusting my hand into the rocks (not something we recommend doing) I managed to get a hand on her...unfortunately the snake was too strong and to avoid hurting the animal it had to be released before we could get it out of the rocks...it will forever be the Mother of all Water Snakes...that got away.
However...not to be disappointed I soon after managed to capture another monster...nearly 3 1/2 feet long this female LEWS was not to happy to be handled and she let me know it.
We have many mottos on The Reptile Show..and one of the most important is..."Never turn your back on a Reptile"...well, I broke that motto and as I was trying to reposition myself to present the scene to the cameras our captured reptile struck my hand and reeked havoc on my pointer finger.
These snakes are not venomous, however they do have mouths fully of pin like, razor sharp teeth...and a mild anti-coagulant in their saliva...the bite was bloody and pretty deep but it made for some great entertainment.
If you are wondering..."Did the bite hurt?" The answer is YES...but it was more of a pulsating pain that came after the segment was finished being filmed. When the adrenaline gets going you don't really notice your finger is gushing blood...but when the reptile is released back into the wild and your cameraman says..."you're getting blood every where we need to bandage that thing up" then you notice the aftermath of the encounter.
We captured several snakes on the course of the trip...but it was this one pictured just above and below who took the award for friendliest snake of all time.
This female was captured on Middle Bass Island and didn't even try to bite me.
In fact...she sat on my lap for about 30 minutes while we photographed her, even let the camera get this incredibly close. When let loose back into the water...she just kind of hung out and then slowly slithered on off. Quite a difference from the first encounter of the day.
In all it was a great trip...dedicated mostly to snakes and B Roll of the island scenery. We did also shoot some great Green and Bull Frog footage...but didn't run into any turtles this time around.
A big thanks to everyone who assisted us on this trip, especially Jeff Fine for braving the extremely rough Lake Erie waves as he boated us back and forth from Middle to North Bass Island, we couldn't have made this trip such a success with out you!
I'm Coyote Peterson, and this...is The REPTILE Show!
PS...cameraman Chammp Swaggerty on top of a Blue School Bus...looks photo shopped but believe us...NBI is that surreal!