South Carolina Highlights

Southern Pine Snake closeup

Rainbow Snake

Many years ago I went on a herp trip to South Carolina with a new 35mm camera.  I was still learning to use the thing, and I didn't come home with a lot of great pictures.  Not long ago I was looking through my photo albums, and I decided to scan some of the photos and run them through Photoshop.  A number of them turned out presentable enough to include in a 'highlights reel' from that trip.

We drove through the night from Illinois, and morning found us closing in on Jasper County, South Carolina.  We were just passing through an area of recently cleared pine plantation, when we spotted a snake in the middle of the two-lane road.  A car was already pulled to the side, and as we stopped and got out to rescue the snake, we could see the man inside was loading a pistol.  "If y'all hadn't come along, I was gonna cap that snake," the man said.  The snake in question was a female Southern Pine Snake, and there was no way in hell we were going to let this guy shoot our first Pine!  The man didn't seem to upset that he didn't get to kill the snake; he seemed to think it was just something that needed to be done.

We were hoping for a rainy night during our visit, in hopes that we might find another Mud Snake, as we had on a previous visit.  We got the rainy night, but instead of a Mud, we found a Rainbow Snake, crossing the road next to a low, swampy area.  Like its Mud Snake cousin, the Rainbow snake didn't offer to bite, but it did press the horny spine on its tail tip into my hand, a most peculiar sensation.  The snake was not very cooperative when we were taking photographs, never coiling or holding still for even a brief moment.  I wasn't a patient photographer back then, either.



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