Portraits of Wildflowers

Perspectives on Nature Photography

A different kind of slender predator

with 21 comments

Click for greater size and clarity.

So different in most ways from a damselfly, yet also a slender predator, is this blotched water snake, Nerodia erythrogaster transversa, that I saw leaving the pond at the Doeskin Ranch on August 31, 2012.

Reptiles have been scarce in these pages, and this is the first picture of a snake ever to appear here. As a bonus you get another look at the Chara algae that was drying out at the edge of the water on that summer day.

© 2013 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

January 15, 2013 at 6:14 AM

21 Responses

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  1. I’m sorry but I have no comment about the snake. Snakes give me the willys. Nice pic though.

    petspeopleandlife

    January 15, 2013 at 6:27 AM

    • Many people have a dislike of snakes. On the other hand, I know some who love snakes, raise them at home, and go out looking for them in the wild.

      Steve Schwartzman

      January 15, 2013 at 7:13 AM

  2. That thing could almost blend in with its surroundings. Pretty scary.

    Gracie

    January 15, 2013 at 6:54 AM

    • Another vote on the anti-snake side. Actually all the snake wanted to do in this case was get away from me, and all I wanted to do was prolong its presence so I could keep on taking pictures of it.

      Steve Schwartzman

      January 15, 2013 at 7:14 AM

  3. The only species I love more than spiders are snakes. What? No closeup?

    Shannon

    January 15, 2013 at 8:00 AM

    • I was using a telephoto lens, and even at that distance the snake was eager to get away from me and kept moving pretty quickly, with the result that the pictures in which I was able to zoom in the closest didn’t turn out well. I did get some acceptable views that are a little closer than what I showed here, but this picture seemed like a good compromise between subject and background.

      Why am I not surprised that you favor snakes even more than spiders?

      Steve Schwartzman

      January 15, 2013 at 8:15 AM

  4. Beautiful, I love snakes. Thanks Steve and I’m waiting for some more!

    chatou11

    January 15, 2013 at 9:09 AM

    • I hope it won’t be too long. For whatever reason, I rarely encounter snakes in the wild here, but I’ll be on the lookout for the next chance.

      Steve Schwartzman

      January 15, 2013 at 9:27 AM

  5. Good photo !

    GuillaumeGuillaume

    January 15, 2013 at 11:58 AM

  6. I have a resident snake in my garden. I like snakes. I’ve never lived anywhere that the snakes were aggressive, I might add. This one is beautiful.

    afrenchgarden

    January 15, 2013 at 1:15 PM

    • If I had a resident snake I’d try to get some good pictures of it. Like you, I haven’t encountered any aggressive snakes, and most have wanted to get away from me pretty quickly. In any case, I’m glad you find this one beautiful.

      Steve Schwartzman

      January 15, 2013 at 1:23 PM

  7. I was hoping for a snake today… I’m cooped up with a cold and am missing all the critters I so enjoy in the summer months.
    So, thanks for the snaky lift to my spirits!

    melissabluefineart

    January 15, 2013 at 3:42 PM

    • Maybe I read your mind, but even if not you’re certainly welcome for the “snaky lift” to your spirits (and respiration). You got me to wondering whether the phrase “snaky lift” had ever been written or uttered before, so I did a Google search and found it a few times in connection with thermal currents. You almost coined a phrase there.

      Steve Schwartzman

      January 15, 2013 at 4:23 PM

      • Ha! I wouldn’t have guessed…now I’ll have to pay attention to weather reports to listen for someone else say “snaky lift” 🙂

        melissabluefineart

        January 17, 2013 at 12:18 PM

  8. That’s a nice looking predator! I enjoy seeing a good photo of a snake that I haven’t seen before.

    montucky

    January 15, 2013 at 9:34 PM

  9. The snake and its algae remind me of polar bears and snow, walking sticks and grasses, and so on. When I ponder the number of creatures that apparently are custom-made for their environments, it’s really quite amazing. And this is a lovely snake.

    Thanks to your link, I’m sure I’ve identified the snake I almost stepped on out at Anahuac – the diamondback water snake. It was on its way out of a pond, and my first response was “Rattler!” Nice to know that all diamondbacks aren’t necessarily dangerous.

    shoreacres

    January 18, 2013 at 9:30 AM

    • About 12 years ago I almost stepped on a real rattlesnake. We were walking on a trail in Palo Duro Canyon (in the Texas Panhandle) and I was so busy looking at the formations of rock and sandstone and thinking about pictures of them that I didn’t notice the rattlesnake on the ground. That was a lucky escape for me. Your diamondback water snake is a perpetual escape for you, another instance of “Not all that glitters is gold.”

      Steve Schwartzman

      January 18, 2013 at 9:44 AM


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