A Young Florida Green Watersnake in South Florida; 15 March 2019

Nerodia floridana, the Florida green watersnake;
Miami-Dade county, Florida (15 March 2019).

I’m always happy to come across a snake —any snake— while hiking, driving, or skydiving. Okay, maybe not while skydiving (which I don’t do because gravity and inertia terrify me while dangling from cord), but you get what I’m saying. I like snakes, and there’s never really a time when I don’t like snakes.

You’d think that by now I’d be sick and tired of some ultra-common species, but that never really happens. For example, with decades of Florida green watersnakes (Nerodia floridana) represented in my photo library, I’m always happy to add a couple more shots to the arsenal, and I’m always delighted to snag a few additional moments to observe and interact with yet another wild watersnake. The very young and the very old can be particularly delightful, some barely out of the starting gates of life, others just shy of the end.

Consider the lovely little noodle featured here. This is a fairly young and still-quite-tiny Florida green watersnake chilling out at the edge of a South Florida road. It wasn’t sporting the typical olive-green coat most (but not all) adults exhibit quite yet, but it was already owning its personal space with style and confidence. Just look at that top shot. Sharp, acutely aware, perpetually calculating, this young snake wasn’t quite sure what to do next, but it was ready to face whatever would come next (Answer: Get Off the Road!).

I don’t care that I’ve come across incalculable numbers of young Florida green watersnakes at this point. I’m always happy to discover another one starting its mission of life. I just wish they’d get off the damn roads!

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