This is a picture of the very first Rough Green Snake (Opheodrys aestivus) I have ever encountered. I was photographing a pair of Green Anoles (Anolis carolinensis) at the rear edge of the pond in my back yard when I spotted her. She was ever-so-slowly making her way through the vegetation, about 2 feet off the ground. I froze for an instant, then swung my camera around to capture her image before she took off.
As it turned out, I had very little to worry about. She did not seem to mind the sound of the camera shutter, nor my pointing the thing at her. She delicately worked her way through equally green vegetation, consisting mostly of Queen Anne’s Lace (Daucus carota).
She gave me ample opportunity to capture her forked tongue in action. Even though it looked like she was tasting the vegetation and the air, she was really just sniffing with her tongue.
I finally returned my attention to the pair of Green Anoles. When they had moved on, I picked up my camera/tripod and turned around to walk the length of the fence, curious about what other life I might discover. As I looked down to take my first step, I nearly stepped on…
Yep – a Rough Green Snake. Although it was headed the opposite direction when I had last seen it, I have to believe that this was the same snake I had been photographing. I was glad that I had looked before stepping…but I could not resist the temptation to pick her up for closer inspection. She was easy to capture, but once in-hand, she was constantly squirming to be free of my grasp.
Isn’t she just beautiful? I was so excited I tried to show her off to AJ, who was…not as excited as I was, to say the least. When I returned her to the vegetation by the pond, she quickly glided into the thicket and out of sight. Here’s hoping she has a full and happy life, free to roam the Earth as she pleases. Every living being should enjoy as much.