||[Apr. 13th, 2015|07:32 pm]
Some people have commented on the beauty of the previous post's snake. Personally, I think that snake is not beautiful (beauty is in the eye of the beholder, remember?) But to satisfy those who might think I consider snakes ugly in general (I don't) or all venomous snakes ugly (I don't) here are some pictures of snakes--or links to those pictures, where I have not photographed the snake myself--that I think are beautiful. Behind the cut, so those who are seriously snake-averse can avoid them.
One of my personal favorites is the red-lined ribbon snake, Thamnopsis proximus rubrilineatus. It's a small snake that likes to be near water--creeks, ponds, etc. This picture is from our lily pond:
Another Texas beauty is the speckled racer (doesn't live near me now--saw it as a kid once); it's a bigger snake with dark scales that have a golden center to each one. Sometimes they look bluish or greenish because of a blue base under the black. This link is to a "field herp" site with several pictures: http://tinyurl.com/ps5y7by
The western coachwhip (which we do have on the place) is even longer, but hard to photograph because it's so long and so very fast. Here's a picture of the head of one. Here the scales look whitish on the edges, but in many lights they seem to be lit from within--they're the same taupe as on top of hte heat, but the edges "glos (look at the scales of the snout--that little "glow" is what you see on all the scales of the snake in good light. Also note the round iris in both the red-lined ribbon snake and the coachwhip--they're non-venomous snakes and in the US, that's a reliable sign you don't have a pit viper. The coachwhips are elegant and very fast, including climbing in brush.
Another beautiful local snake is the rough green snake: small, arboreal, usually spotted up in a bush or tree, though because of its color it's often called a "grass snake." This picture is taken of an "eye level" snake up a vine (green briar) in the woods.
I really don't think the western diamondback qualifies in the "beautiful snake" contest. But again: "eye of the beholder."