Some of you who have had the fortune to come to T.R.E.E.S during the rainy season, where downpour lasts for days and the idea of being cornered in the jungle by a jaguar is preferable to the slow irritating demise of being eaten alive by mosquitoes , than you will have seen the mysterious hidden waterfall.
It’s a waterfall that’s there almost throughout the year smack in the middle of the Arthur’s seat, the beautiful mountain ridge perfectly depicted infront of the possum pad (yoga platform).
However it’s only for a few days during heavy rain that the waterfall becomes so over flowed it can actually be seen from that distance, if you didn’t know it was there you would never know to look but during the rainy season that sight of a gushing waterfall appearing to flow down the Center of that breathtaking landscape just makes you wanna climb it. So we did!
A group of 9 of us from the T.R.E.E.S clan made the journey with our trusty guide Wilberto Santos (Will) whose been with us since the the beginning 8 years ago- check out Wills wood chuck skills! The journey itself wasn’t too treacherous a steep climb but a relatively short journey of 4 hours to get there and back if leaving from the the Mot Mot trail on T.R.E.E.S property.
On the way back Will had a quick surprise, ahead of us on the trail he was right in front of me when he jumped back so unexpectedly we almost crashed, he kept looking at the floor but as much as I looked with him I couldn’t find a thing. Until very carefully he used the tip of his machete to lift a leaf and there nestled into underneath looking ever so harmless was the smallest young snake.
We all jumped back!
This little guy is known as the Fer-de- Lance or ‘tommy goff’ as most people know (Bothrops asper) and it’s one of the most dangerous out of the 62 species of snake found in Belize.
They live 15-21 years and can grow as big as 1.8 meters! I myself am only 5.7 meters long but still that’s relatively small for a snake so why the intimidation?
These masters of camouflage are pit vipers that possess strong heomtoxic venom and are known for there edgy disposition, infact this potent snake on averages injects around 105 mg of venom per bite with the record of 310 mg milked in one sitting in captivity.
The fatal dose for a human is 50 mg which means this little fella can essentially kill 6 humans with one bite!
And you wondered why we jumped!
Good news is despite those facts your not completely doomed if you get bitten, most Fer-de- Lances won’t inject all there venom if provoked. Making venom as strong as this is a hefty task and it takes 8 days to replenish the stock in there glands once used. They can control how much venom is injected at a time and therefore not waste any unnecessarily. There is actually only death in 9% of the cases, but it can cause severe gangrene, resulting in amputations.
This little one was pretty relaxed but I still kept a wide berth of him though, like in humans, the young snakes are still learning and have yet to get the experience in the world of the different dangers including how to control that potent venom. In the end after we all got a good look and some nice pictures he didn’t even budge when we laid him back down -a little off the path this time.
Thanks for checking in and keep reading to see what other amazing creatures were coming across this rainy season.