Spring Break 2018: A Big, Old Brown Watersnake

Nerodia taxispilota, the Brown watersnake;
Collier county, Florida (15 March 2018).
Series: Spring Break 2018.

At last, we’ll wrap up our extended-run of Spring Break 2018 with one last Brown watersnake, Nerodia taxispilota.

Watersnakes tend to show the marks of time and history on their faces and on their scaling. In short, it ain’t easy scratching out a living as a watersnake, and if a watersnake makes it to a ripe, old age, there are probably going to be marks of survival and past calamities — scars worn like badges of endurance. This big Brown watersnake certainly carried some battle damage on its face. A big, beautiful, battered (but very healthy) Brown watersnake… Watersnakes are true survivors. They can really take a beating and keep on ticking.

Though younger watersnakes tend to be the prettiest by most standards, the older ones carry with them implied narratives of the endurance of time. I suspect this big Brown has had a wild ride in the aquatic tangles of Collier county, Florida.

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