Herpetofauna: One Life's List

Farancia abacura abacura
Eastern Mud Snake

Jasper Co., South Carolina. May 26, 1998

"Occasionally found on roads after heavy rains," it says in one of my books.  Ha! I used to think, reading that.  Not any wet road I've ever been on.  These are snakes of the low wet places, eaters of sirens and other slippery creatures, slipping thru the muck and mire under the cover of darkness.

Then came that night in South Carolina when, after a heavy rain, we found not one but two Mud Snakes on the road!  OK, OK, sometimes the books are right!

These snakes are so gawdawful pretty!  We had a difficult time photographing them - they would not hold still, or coil for love nor money.  In the end we opted for the hand-held shot, and even then they kept wiggling, and digging their pointed snouts into any gap in your hands.  They also kept pressing the pointed spine at tail's end into our skin - not really painful, but you knew it was there!  What a privilege it was to see these jewels.








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