Towards the end of our hike around the reservoir at Ragged Mountain Natural Area, I noticed a Black Snake sunning itself beside the trail. I immediately seized upon the opportunity for pictures since you just do not find non-venomous snakes posing beside a trail every day.
Of course, later the next week my friend Dennis pointed out that since I was not dead sure that this was a Black Snake, my photographic tom-foolery was more of a gamble than I was admitting. Er...dammit. Mom, you should not pay any attention to Dennis. I think he is just causing trouble :-)
In trying to figure it out now, I cannot really tell whether it is a Black Rat Snake, or an Eastern Racer. Either way, it was not venomous. See Mom? Not venomous!
Anyhow, this snake was sunning itself beside the trail. As I crept closer for a lovely snake portrait, he started flicking his tongue out at me to keep track of where I was. Non-venomous or not, I did not want to get so close that he fled or decided to strike, so my big lens did all the work for me. I am not sure what is more creepy...the snake and its tongue, or the ant crawling on its eye.