Friday, December 11, 2009

SNAKES (another Red Rat Snake) (Sept ‘09)

You will be seeing a few of the snakes that come to my house…I have been saving them to post in one section, as I have a friend who is so terrified of them that she can’t even look at a picture. So I had to warn her not to read the blog for awhile….at least until the snakes are done and I’ve found some birds or other critters to photograph….

In Sept I took a bike ride to see if I could find something to photograph. Nothing much was going on in the yard just then.

I was happy to see this Red Rat Snake…perhaps it’s the one we released in this area. It was stretched out in the road and didn’t move….just laid  there.


It did keep an eye on me as I moved around it. Looks like there is a wound on it’s back. Perhaps a Hawk, Owl or Kite tried to grab it.


I took several pictures and was worried about it getting run over….so I gently touched it’s tail to get it to move on…..BOY!!  did it ever!!  It went into attack mode very quickly.


From that time on…it really kept a close watch on me. It was absolutely beautiful!!


Now often do you get to see it’s belly?  


I compared a close-up head shot of each snake and decided it’s not the one we released. If you look closely at the pattern on the back of their heads….you can see the difference.

009cs2 009cs22

Since I was riding my bike and it was a narrow dirt road…I waited for it to leave before trying to ride past.  It finally got bored and moved off into the grass and the palm trees. I have since seen one other Red Rat Snake that exhibited the same behavior. Probably normal for a wild snake that is used to defending itself.

The two I photographed were only about 3’ long, and probably wont get a whole lot bigger…maybe a ft or two.

I was surprised to learn they can live to be 15 – 20 years old. They eat Anoles, small rodents and sometimes birds. They are non-venomous and normally docile. That’s why they are so popular as pets, but they really belong outdoors….doing what they were intended to do….. live out their lives keeping the rat and mice population down… us a bit of cardio-vascular exercise when we almost step on it …and then all the oohs and aahs …….as we realize how lucky we’ve been to share another bit of nature’s beauty.


  1. Carol, these are superb pictures. Such a beautiful snake. Love that shot of his belly, showing his markings. And the 'attack mode' sure looks like he means business.

  2. Another great snake. Keep 'em coming.

  3. Very lovely photographs. Parts of the snake almost look flat.

  4. David Steen: have you considered hunting the pythons in the FL Everglades for study?

  5. Wow, it put on quite a show for you. The belly is as beautiful as the back. They probably all look as different as you and I. Excellent captures. Nice to spook it off the road, for it's own safety of course.

  6. What a delightful blog...I arrived here via a search for Roseate Skimmer and stayed to look around. gail, clay and limestone

  7. Loving these photos. What a beautiful snake! Super to see it in that "attack" pose :o)

  8. Carol,

    Hunting the pythons in the Everglades would be great fun, aside from all the scientific questions that can be answered. So, in short, yes...I have considered it, although the logistics may make that difficult.
    There's some interesting work coming out of Davidson College:
    and the Savannah River Ecology Lab: on the subject.
    It's a big issue in the Everglades...although I was first skeptical regarding their impact, pythons are now one of the most commonly encountered snakes down there...scary stuff.

  9. Stunning photography, we do not have many species of snake in the UK and only one venomous snake the Adder.


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