put on your faces – texas rat snake

Close-up of a Texas rat snake (a.k.a chicken snake; Elaphe obsoleta lindheimeri) slithering across sand (IMG_1960)

Texas rat snake (a.k.a chicken snake; Elaphe obsoleta lindheimeri)

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Though I focus on in situ nature photos—things in their original locations and states rather than posed or captive—I admit this snake made an appearance only after my father captured it.

A captured Texas rat snake (a.k.a chicken snake; Elaphe obsoleta lindheimeri) trying to slither away (IMG_1965)

While my uncle and dad worked on one of the chicken pens here at the family farm in East Texas, they discovered this “chicken snake” hiding behind a nesting box.  Around 4.5 feet/1.4 meters long, the snake might appear large, but this species can exceed six feet/two meters in length.  This one still has growing to do.

A captured Texas rat snake (a.k.a chicken snake; Elaphe obsoleta lindheimeri) held in the air at arm's length (IMG_1967)

I admit I feel less than enthusiastic about posting these pictures since, as I said, I do not take or share images of captive animals (aside from the domestic variety like dogs and cats).  In this case, however, my dislike of the circumstances is allayed by the fact that we released the animal after I snapped some pictures.  Likewise, admitting it was not “in the wild” alleviates my usual avoidance of such photographs.

Texas rat snakes are one of about 30 species of nonvenomous snakes in the area.  In addition, we have seven venomous snake species, including cottonmouths, a variety of rattlers, copperheads and coral snakes.

2 thoughts on “put on your faces – texas rat snake”

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  2. What a handsome beast. Love that colouring, the liquorice and
    tobacco with the creamy belly. You should have no qualms about
    posting the image, beyond cautioning ‘Don’t do this yourselves,
    because unlike the one in the photograph, the snake you pick up may
    turn out to be of a venomous variety!!!’ Glad to hear that he went
    back to the wild from whence he had come. The chickens can rest
    easy in their nests!

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