I have been out to photograph the autumn migration of the Dutch Snakes. There are actually 3 species of Snake in The Netherlands being the Grass Snake (Natrix natrix), the Adder (Vipera berus) and the hardly known or seen Smooth Snake (Coronella austriaca).Migration sounds like they are heading south but what i mean by that is that most Snakes are returning to their winter den after giving birth to the youngsters in the moorland.
So let's start with the Grass Snake. A beautiful snake wich is often recognized by it's yellow collar. Contrary to popular belief the Grass Snake is not venomous. It does have some small fangs in the back of it's mouth but the venom within them is only used for digestion and is not dangerous to humans. It is also the largest snake we have groing up to more then 1 meter in length (allthough the specimens i found where just 20 cm long juveniles...) As this one was in slough it's eyes seem somehwat blue and obscured.
Then there is the Adder.This species of Snake is venomous and if you are bitten by one you won't die at the spot but getting to a hospital for anti venom is seriously advised. This snake is easily recognised by the square pattern on it's back and the vertical pupil instead of a round pupil like the other two species have. Adders are found within moorland and around small woodland ponds or dry tall grassland in forest area's.
For those of you who have not seen them yet i did a topic on Adders befor on this blog, see: http://jeroenstel.blogspot.com/2009_03_01_archive.html
Then the last one of the herpatological threesome is the rarest and most unknown we have the Smooth Snake. Unlike the other two this one des not have scales but has a smooth skin hence it's name. Where the other Snake species need warmer weather and a clouded sky with tempertures of around 15 to 18 degrees to be seen. This Snake get's out after a nice rain shower and lives a secretive life. That is the reason most people never get to see it or have not heard of it's excistance. A lovely Snake nevertheless ans one that has been high on my wishlist for several years.
Also the Smooth Snake has been covered before on this blog, see: http://jeroenstel.blogspot.com/2009/04/smoothy-anyone.html
Then last but not least there is another "Snake"...or isn't it...? Nope it is not...
The Slow Worm (Anguis fragilis) is not actually a Snake. It is a legless Lizzard and if you take a good look at it's head it resembles a Lizzard more then a Snake. This legless Lizzard is also living in wood- and moorland and is very slick and shiny and often seen crossing footpaths in forests.
And as i had so much fun photographing these beautifull animals here are some more shots fro the recent sessions of Hollands slippery 3...(or actually 4..)