I love being eye-to-eye when taking snake photos. Soon as I determine a snake I come across is harmless and its safe to do so, I’m on my belly and composing snake portraits. If I came across more snakes in my wanderings, I’d likely start a Snakes Of Whatever Instagram and pretend to have conversations with them about their lives.
Sadly, I don’t come across as many snakes as I would like, so that is unlikely to happen.
Normally I wouldn’t spend enough time with a snake, or get close enough to it, to aggravate it or otherwise make a pest of myself. This time though, I gave myself permission to spend some time evaluating Mr. Snake.
Our little friend here had been through some sort of trauma and was looking a little worse for wear. I’m not a snake expert, but I thought to give him a good inspection before backing off or scooping him up.
His right eye was red and likely unable to see anything and he had a pretty impressive gash bisecting his face and mouth. My concern was that he might not be capable of eating and while I mostly leave wildlife alone, I don’t much like leaving them to starve if I can help it.
I watched him for a while and got close enough to encourage movement and a bit of defensive posturing. His tongue flicked in and out and he turned to follow my progress, seeming to keep a good awareness of where I was, even without the use of his right eye. His mouth, while looking pretty gnarly, looked like it was healing. He moved well and didn’t seem emaciated. I know snakes can go a while without eating and hoped that with his wounds healing he was already able to eat or on his way to being able to do so.
I decided not to stress him further by removing him from his environment.
And now I’m considering studying up on herpetology so I have a better understand of snakes and snake health should I come across an injured snake in the future. How about it, my herp friends, where would start in such an education?