Monday, June 9, 2014


Snakes. What are snakes? We'll never know.

I've largely avoided snakes my entire life because my mother is deathly afraid of them so I never bothered seeking them out. But even when I went out to look for them I could never find any. That, or they were running away from me. They might have well have been girls. In my expansive lifetime of twenty-something I'd only seen about a grand total of two garter snakes and a water snake or five. It wasn't until I went down south and accidentally noosed a viper that I started to look deeper into the mystery that is "snakes." Turns out, they're reptiles too!

While I've learned a little bit more about snakes in the past year, my snake-finding skills are still subpar at best. Will I ever find snakes?! Yes. On a return trip to Skink Mountain, I unwittingly almost stepped on a five-foot long black racer basking in the afternoon sun. I quickly chased it and it quickly turned around ready to bite my face.

Pissed off.
Ready to bite my face. Or more reallistically my shins. 

Instead of placing my face near the snake's jaw I neared my shoe towards the serpent which it struck and then FLEW off the mountain top. Literally. Not really, but it is quite comical to see a cylindrical object with no appendages somehow propel itself at such high speeds. They're onto something, these snakes.

Rejuvenated by this encounter I thought to myself "Gee, it sure would be great to run into another black racer to get a picture from a different angle!" and then this thing slides right in front of me:

Just passing through.
Except this wasn't a black racer, but a black rat snake. They're totally different, I swear. Totally unperturbed by the large hulking mammal following it, the snake decided to climb up a tree. This was an extremely impressive feat for something with no... feet.

Don't mind me.
"Look mom! No hands!"

And then my camera battery died. After mourning the loss of the power source and the chance for a beautiful picture of a snake in a tree, I reveled in my fortune. Two species of snakes in a single day! That's a new world record, I think! Could my luck be repeated the next day?


No. All I found was that conveniently placed snake skeleton in the shape of a question mark.

But the next day, I found two more species of snakes under the same abandoned piece of tarp by a riverside. Snakes love abandoned pieces of tarp.

Can't see anything.
"$%#@, I can't see %#$@!"-Snake

First up we have a garter snake which proceeded to expel piss and musk all over my hand while I helplessly attempted to take a picture with the other. Its eyes normally aren't that cloudy and this indicates that it's going getting ready to shed soon. Had to throw in at least one science fact in here. I don't know to what extent this alters the snake's vision, but I think it's funny to imagine a visually impaired snake bumbling through the grass, cursing whenever it bumps into anything.

Ol' blue eyes. 

And here we have what I first thought was a "brown garter snake," but I think it's just the completely different "brown snake" or Storeria dekayi for all you snake aficionados. I didn't handle this one too much because I had recently reached my quota for getting pissed on by animals for the day.

In conclusion, wow. Two instances with two species of snake. Double double snake days. Good things always come in threes so this can only mean I'll find a copperhead and a rattlesnake on my next adventure. Here's to hoping I don't get bitten by both and die. Where else would you guys get mildly entertaining, subpar prose and amateur photography on the internet?!

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