A Road-Chillin’ Brown Watersnake in South Florida; 14 March 2019

Nerodia taxispilota, the Brown watersnake;
Miami-Dade county, Florida (14 March 2019).

This not-so-new-year (it’s March already?) has thus far been a little more than wicked busy on my end of the wires, but I finally managed to duck south for a few days of photography and reptile scales this past weekend. This little roadtrip south was my first extended excursion into the scaly tangles of south Florida for the new year. The trip certainly did not disappoint in all manner of scales and teeth (and feathers to boot).

I spent most of the daylight hours frolicking about the Florida Keys and hiking various trails around Everglades National Park, but my nighttime hours were an entirely different affair. Road-cruising was the name of the game — the fine art of driving around while looking for snakes slinked up on the roadways to absorb the residual heat of the receding day.

Featured here is one of the fifteen snakes I came across on my first day and night back in South Florida. This is a somewhat-young and entirely-non-venomous Brown watersnake, Nerodia taxispilota, chilling out in the middle of a roadway. I must admit, as much as I adore snakes, I have to admit they’re not the sharpest tools in the shed. Many of them really do love resting atop open roadways after the sun goes down. Not exactly the smartest place for a snake to spend the evening hours… but, alas, so it goes. Snakes will be snakes, and people-who-love-snakes-and-cameras will be people-who-love-snakes-and-cameras. I certainly added some mileage to both my Jeep and my Nikon over the weekend.

Fortunately, this little Brown watersnake soon enough slinked away into the brush — free to live another day and, hopefully, many more asphalt-laden nights.

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