Tuesday, 30 March 2010

Serious snake action

I just can't help myself.

These serpents are fascinating and so I thought that I would share some more piccies to provide additional delight from my weekend visit to the Somerset Levels.  Of course, as you probably know, not all our scaly friends are real snakes.  Slow worms (which are the small, sleek individuals lying centrally in the group photo) are in fact legless lizards.  The ones in the photo are probably males.  One of two appeared to have lost the ends of their body - probably when successfully escaping from a predator - neat trick!

I did not want to disturb them for too long so my identification is from the piccies only.

The other snakes below are adders with one grass snake also in the bottom picture.  Interestingly adders eat slow worms - maybe these were too fast or too big for the adders.

If you are wondering why the pictures are a bit out of focus, its cos I had to hold up a big piece of corrugated iron in one hand with my Canon DSLR in the other (with a large lens), whilst getting the pictures, before my erstwhile subjects either bit me or made a hasty escape (OK- the biting bit was very unlikely).


  1. I have a hard time getting excited over snakes. I know they have their purpose, but they still frighten me! Carla

  2. We have a very few snakes in the UK and only one venomous one. These are really quite small so are not SO scary - really rather lovely in fact. However my partner can't even look at this blog as she hates them totally and utterly.

  3. Lol.. you wouldn't get me lifting the corrugated iron... no way! Great photos though. However, I do have an adder photo story for you...

    Daughter and OH go cycling along a countryside trail. OH hears daughter making noise behind him. They stop a moment, exchange a few words then cycle back again to see the damage! Daughter has just cycled over a snake :-O

    The snake survives and slithers over to the side of the path. OH gets camera out and quickly takes a photo. Having no idea what the snake was they cycle quickly off into the sunset. Photo ID later confirmed it was an adder... a very lucky one I guess :-D

  4. We rarely see snakes around here, although when I was little we would see garter snakes. I would even pick them up back then.
    You got some great pictures. I'd never heard of slow worms before.

  5. When we were much younger, My brother and I collected snakes from the swanp in our back yard. Now I'll just enjoy your pictures. I gat your link from Shirl. jim

  6. i can remember living in hampshire as a boy and taking slow worms to school to scare the girls. i repent!

  7. A couple of years ago we put a weed suppressant membrane down on a sunny bank that has lovely views over the valley with the idea of eventually making it into a sitting area. However the slow worms moved under it and are thriving so well that we have just left it as their area and we end up sitting in the shade. Have just found your blog and website (thanks to Shirl)and look forward to following both:-)

  8. Slow worms somehow have a very serious, slightly alien face - does that sound wierd?

  9. Hi Peter,
    As a keen wildlife photographer I'm really blown away to see adder, grass snake and slow-worms in the same shot. I grew up near the Levels and had no idea there were adders present (Mendips and Quantocks, yes). I now live in Oxfordshire but do visit the Levels once or twice a year for the wildlife and fishing. I'd love to know the location of those corrugated sheets. Are they easy to find?
    You can contact me through my photography website (www.foxphot.co.uk).
    Best wishes,

  10. Great pictures, looks like the Adder is about to shed it's skin, you can tell by the milky eyes.
    They produce a milky lubricant under the old skin which helps it to detach from the new skin and even the eye covers are shed each time.


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