The Corn Snake, 26 July 2018

Pantherophis guttatus, the Corn snake;
Miami-Dade county, Florida (26 July 2018).

During the evening of 26 July 2018 and after a good, long day trolling throughout the Florida Keys (those posts are forthcoming), I road-cruised and patrolled a decent swath of Monroe and Miami-Dade county backroads. A fairly massive bundle of storms had moved through the area, and that meant more than a few snakes might head out onto the open backroads — as they often do, unfortunately. Sure enough, I ended up coming across and being able to photograph seven such snakes. I saw a few others, but they were well gone and disappeared before I could catch up to them; I’m not as fast as I used to be… As for this snake, it was a lovely Corn snake (also known as the Red rat snake), and it was the first snake I was able to photograph closely that evening. It was also the first of two Corn snakes I ultimately came across during this evening’s jaunt.

Comically, I actually wasn’t the first to spot this particular snake on the road. I’d pulled over to let a car and a truck pass me by. The car zipped by without hesitation, rushing its way nowhere in the shortage of time. A few moments later, the truck passed by a bit more slowly — and then kicked on its break lights and stopped in the road. Sure enough, a pair of gentlemen were going about the same business as myself — roadcruising for reptiles. They’d hopped out and snagged the Corn. I’m glad the car in front of them didn’t hit the snake. Lucky snake.

We chatted for a few moments and they left me with the Corn to snag a few shots and to release it. I suspect they were looking for slightly larger, beefier snakes… perhaps a Burmese python? Anyhow, I was glad they weren’t collectors — people who patrol the backroads to snatch snakes for breeding, collecting, or commercial purposes. They simply admired the snake for a few moments and then moved on. I snagged a few shots and then let the Corn snake go on its way — free to slither about another day.

As I would soon find out, this was also only the first of a slew of beautiful, healthy snakes I would come across along the stormy backroads of Miami-Dade county.

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