Gophersnake in Santa Barbara County Southern California by Eyal Nahmias

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A closeup of a Gopher Snake coiled around itself on a branch in the wilderness of Santa Ynez mountains, in Southern California

One of the most widespread snakes in North America, its range extends from the Atlantic to the Pacific, as far north as southern Canada, and as far south as Veracruz, Mexico. This species can reach five to six feet in length, and are among the more “human-friendly” species of North American snakes, mainly due to the fact that they are not venomous, hunt vermin (hence the name) and are easily raised and bred in captivity. When startled or angry, they will hiss very loud and rattle their tails. This is why they are sometimes mistaken for a rattlesnake.Habitat: Found in a wide variety of habitats, including deserts, prairies, woodlands, brushlands, coniferous forests, and even cultivated land. Gopher snakes often live in discarded or conquered gopher holes.

Featured: Creatures that Slither and Slide group, October 2009

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Consider these images as companions. :-)

Tags

catenifer, blotches, desert, gophersnakes, snake, oviparous, scales, melanoleucus, fear, hisses, pattern, bullsnake, stripes, reptile, diurnal, southern, common, hanging, slide, spots, crawl, snakes, reptiles, serpent, california, gopher, closup, harmless, hiss, reptilia, eyal, nahmias, phlegm, squamata, pituosis, pituophis, gophersnake

Comments

  • Marion  Cullen
    Marion Cullenalmost 6 years ago

    Excellent close up Eyal. Very creative use of dof and compositional ‘layering’, and very sharp where it counts in that beady little eye. A beautiful smooth background with just a little bit of interest, but not enough to take away from your subject.
    I love your choice of subject, snakes and reptiles, there is something totally mesmerising about them.

  • Thanks marion. love this comment, very constructive and informative. I like how you analyzed what you see and give your input and feedback.

    – Eyal Nahmias

  • salsbells69
    salsbells69almost 6 years ago

    Fabulous capture Eyal. Great narration too.

  • thanks Sally, :-)

    – Eyal Nahmias

  • Johanna  Rutter
    Johanna Rutteralmost 6 years ago

    great shot! I would be afraid to get this close:)

  • Thank you. To with there is nothing to be afraid off. This snake is harmless.

    – Eyal Nahmias

  • Daniel J. McCauley IV
    Daniel J. McCa...almost 6 years ago

    Wonderful capture, Eyal! Spot-on focus! Great natural colors! Terrific shot!!

  • Thank you so much for the comment. I truly appreciate it.

    – Eyal Nahmias

  • MickaelaGood
    MickaelaGoodalmost 6 years ago

    Beautiful shot! I am from Santa Ynez area (Lompoc)… I ran from these all my life! :)

  • Hello neighbor. There is nothing to be afraid of, or run away from them. These snakes are harmless, and quite cute. thanks for the comment.

    – Eyal Nahmias

  • Chris Clark
    Chris Clarkalmost 6 years ago

    fantastic close up image of this very fine reptile. You have done it justice Eyal

  • Thank you chris, much appreciated.

    – Eyal Nahmias

  • InPort
    InPortalmost 6 years ago

    G’day Eyal,

    Having had a very close encounter of the reptilian kind recently my eye was quickly drawn to this handsome Gopher Snake.
    You have a very good specimen as a subject and have composed the shot very well.
    Good light and exposure, good use of depth of field to create a nice bokeh, a very good focus with a clean, clear, sharp eye with a good catchlight, nice contrast and lovely natural colours.
    Good work!

    GB
    Dennis

  • Thanks Dennis, I enjoyed reading about your close encounter with the Brown Snake, and you did everything right to take a pic and not disturbing it. instead of wildflower, you got some major adrenaline rush. :-) Thanks for the thoughtful and constructive comment. Much appreciated.

    – Eyal Nahmias

  • julie08
    julie08almost 6 years ago

    Wow – fantastic, hope you had a zoom…

  • Thanks Julie, No, I had no zoom. I shot it from about 2 feet away or even closer. Since they are harmless there is no need to stay far away. :-)

    – Eyal Nahmias

  • RanyLutz
    RanyLutzalmost 6 years ago

    Super capture. Having the lower coil there for comparison is great.

  • Thanks Rany, Much appreciated.

    – Eyal Nahmias

  • MickaelaGood
    MickaelaGoodalmost 6 years ago

    I know they are harmless… brothers (3 of em!!) would catch the snakes and put them in a cage that they could get out of, so I was terrified of finding them in my bed, on the VCR, under the dryer, etc (anywhere warm).

    It was hard being the only girl…. ;)

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