To come upon this Black Rat Snake while crossing from the trails, on his way from the garden to the barn, soaking up the heat of an early summer morning, his scales shining like the toe of a spit-polished black boot.
I squatted before him, raised the camera,
and found him looking back at me,
lifting his head from the path,
peeking past a blade of grass.
Then, to be sure he knew what I was all about,
smelled the air with his forked tongue,
never batting an eyelash.
Oh, lovely creature,
sharp dresser, black and white,
it is I who’s charmed.
(click to enlarge)
Check out his rostral scale or shield (the one in the center of his upper jaw).
It perfectly frames the opening of his mouth!
(Did you know that all the scales on his head have names?)
f - frontal
in - internasal
l - loreal
la - supralabial
m - mental
n - nasal
p - parietal
pf - prefrontal
pg - Posterior Genials or chin shields
pro - preocular
pso - presubocular
pto - postocular
r - rostral
so - supraocular
t - Anterior and Posterior temporals
v - First ventral
View more ABC Wednesdays here!