There’s nothing like a close-up snake encounter to get the heart rate up. Maybe it’s a primordial response, this surge of adrenalin and a state of flight. Though i have a fascination for these sinuous creatures, i like to keep a good distance. A resident Cape cobra lives on the hillside adjoining the neighbouring properties and every now and then it makes an appearance: an elegant, golden creature close on 2 meters in length. It serves a useful purpose in keeping the rodent numbers down and occasionally it will take a small rock hyrax. While the cobra is shy and retiring, another species gets our cautious attention – the puff adder which has a sluggish and dangerous reputation.
The next is a favourite in the garden – the harmless mole snake:
The last is possibly the most dangerous – a Mozambique spitting cobra (found in the Lowveld (Mpumalanga). We were lucky that it was crossing the road and quickly disappeared into the bush as it is one of the most agile of snakes with the ability to rear up to half it’s height and has a 3m spitting distance. It aims for the eyes and the toxic venom is lethal. If the venom penetrates the eyes, it can cause blindness. Best to step out of the way and let this one pass on by.
23 thoughts on “Slithery predators.”
How can I press the Like button; I am so afraid of snakes (but have hardly seen any, no snakes here…) 😉
Bente, you make me smile… i think we have a built in self-preservation reaction when it comes to snakes 🙂 Snake free environment, but guess there are other dangers?
I did not want to press it either…
Isn’t it curious that we so ‘conditioned’? I think it goes all the way back to the primal when snakes were ‘blueprinted’ into our ‘flight’ response 🙂
I’m sure you are right there.
Wonderful picture of the puff adder. Little did I know that photography can be a lethal occupation. Well, I guess I have been around grizzlies and such. Hope you were taking these shots, like I often do, from the car.:)
Thanks Oops… yep there’s a delicious dare to it all. The car is definitely a haven… but often meet these critters out hiking – take off in an adrenalin surge far faster than the snake. Those grizzlies … well they’re not to be messed with. BTW Scarface was up on a Nat Geo documentary on Yellowstone here on the box. Was thrilled to recognize him from your pix.
Wow, scary. If I had taken the photos, they would be all shaky!
Hehe, have other pix totally out of focus! They do fascinate me though, like being drawn to the edge of a precipice to see the view!
Great serpent shots Liz!
About twelve years ago had the misfortune of a Mozambique spitting cobra getting into the panels and air-conditioning ducts of our vehicle at Satara in the Kruger National Park… It took hours to get the snake out, and when it was finally released it was angry as hell!
Thanks for the comments 🙂 Hell that must have been tricky getting it out. It’s must be Murphy’s law when snakes crawl into the most inaccessible places.
I’m so afraid of snakes and glad I live in a place where they don’t 🙂 But their skin is beautiful and the patterns on the puff adder are lovely. You are one brave photographer.
I think fear must be a good thing – an instinctive reaction to self preservation 🙂 Yes, such beauty… but deadly. Brave? no… telephoto lenses! 🙂
Great shots of those snakes! I knew about the Puff, but in your photo it’s at least beautiful! I didn’t know about the spitting cobra, so now I must add another dangerous snake to my list. My big fright is spiders really – my husband has snakes, so I think I’ll show him your shots!
I imagine collecting snakes must be a passion for some… they’re intriguing; spiders – well there are some nasty specimen about. Give them a wide berth….!
I admire snakes but not the venomous ones. I don’t know if I would manage living with them around though.
The non-venomous tend to have a better reputation 🙂 It does add a bit of spice and to the awareness level having them around…. gardening with leather gloves, sturdy shoes… especially in thick vegetation. Generally though they will move off quickly. Inside the house is a different matter!
Oh my – creeps me out just looking at the photos! Nicely done 🙂
Hi Tina, that sounds like a healthy adverse response! Thanks as always for dropping by 🙂
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The mole snake looks beautiful, Liz. Very well captured.
Thanks Uday, it was a lucky shot. They’re handsome, jet black and move with grace….
I haven’t snakes here! very good pictures! They seems to be so nearby you! isn’it dangerous????
Telephoto lens at a distance definitely an advantage… but it puts quite an edge on gardening and in all my encounters with these slithery critters i’ve never mastered staying calm. The adrenalin rush sees me leaping away like a bounding deer.