Snake Eyes

In recent taking up photography as a hobby made me more fascinated with nature than I had ever been in my life.  Just stopping to look at nature in local parks led me to visit zoos and take pictures wherever I could.

Despite a cultural fear of snakes, personally I find snakes and reptiles to be most interesting subjects for pictures.  Maybe I feel safe because they are behind glass walls in zoos and aquariums, but I don’t find them to be fearful beings, but fascinating ones.

Some of them seem to be looking right at you, and you wonder what they would say if they could talk.

Jameson’s Mamba is the name of the snake above.  Deadly venomous.   But when I visit the Cincinnati Zoo, it is my favorite for viewing and photographing. The pattern of the scales over the body are intriguing.    The one above seems ready for serious conversation. No wonder Eve was deceived.   A talking serpent is not as easy to resist as you might imagine.

Nelson’s Milk Snake is non-venomous as are many snakes.  He too is curious about his environment and perhaps about the visitors who come to see him!   Current evolutionary theory says snakes evolved from reptiles with legs.  Some mistakenly think evolution should have moved from legless to legged, but that is not the case.  Even in Genesis 3 the serpent ends up slithering on the ground and loses his legs after the Fall of Adam and Eve.

Grand Cayman Iguana (above) is on the brink of extinction in the wild.  Not a pretty face, but this one almost seems to be smiling.

It is the front feet of  the Crocodile Monitor (above) which I find so fascinating.  They are designed for grasping and certainly look like gloved hands.  It is this genetic similarities between animals of different species that give credence to evolutionary theory.

The above photo of the Komodo Dragon  gives a pretty good look at this reptile’s ear.  They do have ears, but it is a hole in the side of the their head, they have no “pinna” or auricle, those visible folds of skin on the sides of our heads that we often associate with the ear in humans.  They are listening.

The Green Anaconda (above) is said to be the longest species of snake in the world.  This one doesn’t reveal his length, but his piercing eyes seem to plumb the length of the inner you!

The National Geographic Society Museum in Washington, D.C., had a wonderful display of Geckos.   The one pictured above is the Leopard Gecko Morph Striped.   They are considered to be a good pet for those looking for a lizard to bring home to care for.

Just above the surface of the water, only their eyes are visible.  A quick glance and you might think they belong to large frogs.  But beneath the water are full Alligators, lurking quietly, awaiting prey.

Back to snakes, this one above a Burmese Python.  I do find the scale patterns of the different snakes to be most interesting.  Many of us though would prefer watching Monty Python for entertainment.  Not being a TV watcher, I find looking through the glass in the reptile houses to be more invigorating than passively watching the tube.

And back to the Jameson’s Mamba.  It is as I mentioned my favorite snake at the Cincinnati Zoo.  I consider it beautiful, though deadly dangerous.   The snakes and reptiles are part of God’s creation and according to Genesis a serpent lived in paradise too.  The story of his betrayal of Eve resulting in human death enshrines the fear of snakes in human history and mythology.   Some indeed are a threat to humans, but many are not venomous and are the friends of humans consuming rodents and other vermin pests.

You can find links to all my photo blogs at  My Photo blogs.    Zoos enable me to visit the world, and to view even dangerous animals in relative safety and comfort.