Last week, I posted a bunch of cute baby bison photos. This week, I’m posting a bunch of charming snake photos. I recognize that not everyone thinks snakes are cute or charming, and if you’re really triggered by images of snakes, you can scroll quickly down to find last week’s bison babies and counteract this post. However, I encourage you to give snakes a chance. I promise these photos won’t hurt you. Most of the snakes won’t either, as far as that goes.
There is tremendous variety and beauty among the snakes found in Nebraska and the Great Plains of North America. Many species are small – pencil-sized or so – and even most of the bigger ones are harmless. I’ve spent about 25 years exploring and studying prairies as an adult and have never been bitten or attacked by a snake in any way. Most are incredibly hard to photograph because they slip away quickly when they spot me.
For most of us, seeing a snake causes an initial instinctive reaction in which we jump – or at least flinch – backward. That includes me, but I’ve trained the logical part of my brain to quickly overrule that instinct, allowing me enjoy the few opportunities I get to see and appreciate snakes in the wild. If you look at snakes from an artistic standpoint, they really are gorgeous creatures, and they live fascinating lives. For those of you still reading this, here are some images of Nebraska snakes that have allowed me to photograph them over the years.
(If you live in or near Nebraska, you can’t beat Dan Fogell’s book A Field Guide to the Amphibians and Reptiles of Nebraska for identifying snakes and other scaly creatures. It lives in my truck always.)