Snake Eyes.

I’ve always thought snakes were really cool. Especially their eyes, with that unblinking stare, and the colors and patterns of their skin. Many of them possess  an iridescent quality to their skin that in the right light is beautiful.

As a boy growing up in Connecticut, boys being boys, my friends and I were always on the lookout for snakes. We had one favorite place to catch what we knew as black racers. The name fit too, because besides being black, duh, they were FAST! We would catch them, keep them as “pets” for a while, and then release them back into the wild. The keeping was never as much fun as the catching though, the thrill of the hunt and all that. The one thing I never got used to while chasing them was one of their defense mechanisms. When we would come upon them the would vibrate their tails against the dry grass and sound EXACTLY like a rattle snake. And since the thought that we did have rattle snakes in Connecticut was always in the back of my mind, their rattling made my heart skip a beat every single time.

Anyway, since picking up a camera I’ve had an idea for photographs of snakes rattling around in the back of my head. I didn’t want the entire snake, just the eyes and close-ups showing the colors and patterns in the skin. After a quick search and an ad placed on craigslist, I was in business. I didn’t come away with every image I had in mind, but I still have a few contacts in the reptile world, and plan to complete my slithering vision soon.

Snake Eyes. It doesn’t get more “unusual” than that!

22 thoughts on “Weekly Photo Challenge: Unusual

    1. Up close and personal with a Sigma 150mm Macro. The snake was about 7 1/2 feet long and very tame. I wish all wildlife moved as slow, it would make it so much easier!

  1. I really like the last photo. I like the color and the skin pattern. The eye is amazing and unusual. Good choice for this challenge.

  2. Yes they are wonderful, and beautiful colours! I also think sheep’s eyes are fascinating. The pupil is horizontal compared to the snake’s vertical.

  3. These are amazing close-ups, Jeff. The eyes have always infatuated me, and what you wrote in your post brought back some child hood memories. Our main snake we “rented” from the wild was the speckled kingsnake.

    1. I can only imagine. I’ve heard of some of the snakes you have down there. Yikes! I’ve always been very comfortable around the large constrictors though. If they are well fed and handled regularly they are pretty easy to deal with. The only species of constrictor that I don’t like are the reticulated pythons, at least as far as the species I’ve been around personally. I’ve never been near one that wasn’t as aggressive, mean, and nasty as can be.

  4. great clicks – but i will hasten to add they are not my favourite animals, and i am glad that i can look at these virtually. that certainly is close enough 🙂
    and yet you are right – their texture and and the colouring of their eyes is most unusual.
    thanks for sharing.

    1. No problem there. I do find it surprising that there is really no middle ground when it comes to snakes. People either love them or hate them.

      Poor little snakey 😀

    1. It was actually quite easy. The hardest part was finding someone locally that had a large snake they were willing to let me photograph. Once I did that, it was a matter of letting the snake wander around in the grass. I just got down on the ground with the snake and tried to come up with some interesting photos.

      Definitely not for someone who is afraid of snakes, but if you are comfortable around them, it’s pretty fun.

  5. Thank you for that up close and personal with a creature I’d probably avoid…she’s beautiful!
    Seeing snakes in the wild I get a rush of that old primordial fear -a very black, very ancient feeling unlike anything else.

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