Friday, April 17, 2015

Black Racers

Yesterday afternoon, I was lucky enough to discover three Black Racer snakes basking in a bit of late day sunshine.  All were nice mature specimens between three and four feet long.

I was starting down the south side of a hill when I encountered the first snake.  I had just been thinking that the snakes should be active when I caught sight of this one in the grass.

This individual had its head pointed towards me when I saw it, so I assume it saw me first.  That seems typical of my normal snake encounters.  They always appear to be staring at me at the moment I become aware of their presence.  This individual appeared to be quite healthy, but was still wearing some mud that probably came from its hibernation site.  After admiring the snake for a short while, I backed away and began circling around.  I didn’t want to interrupt the sunbath.

About 10 feet away, I found a second snake.  This one was a little larger than the first and was in a thicker area of Indian Grass.

Like the first snake, this one had seen me coming.  I once again backed off and chose another path around the snakes.

About 15 feet farther off, I scared a third snake from the tall grass.  The Indian Grass here was too thick for me to see the ground or resting snakes, but the sound of the snake was easy to track through the dry grass stalks.  Fortunately, the snake headed out of the field and into a tangle of small trees.  This specimen was the largest of the three.

No dried mud on this snake.  The scales are nice and clean, but not as shiny black as snake number two.
The side view of the head is one of my favorite snake poses.  The eye peering through the vegetation reminds me of the Velociraptor preparing to attack in the Jurassic Park movie.  I also enjoy seeing my reflection in the snake’s eye.  That dark spot to left center in the eye is me taking this photo.  You can’t really see it in the reflection, but finding three snakes within a few minutes always makes me smile.