Positive reinforcement tells me that I should be finding snakes in Houston, TX. The first one was found simply by accident, but consistent herpetological luck at Houston’s Arboretum makes me look harder and longer until I find one.

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It took two visits during this trip, but I was rewarded with a very intimate look at a charming little snake. This is the Gulf Coast Ribbon Snake Thamnophis proximus orarius.

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It was sunning itself on a log beside the water and was very tolerant of me and other people passing by on a board walk just 6 feet away. The snakes at the Arboretum have surprised me by how approachable they are. A Broad-banded Water Snake was spotted by a troupe of Girl Guides and whilst much squealing and jumping ensued, the snake seemed quite unbothered by the fuss.

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Ribbon Snakes are small slender creatures with excellent vision for diurnal hunting. They are commonly associated with water and can often be found in or close to ponds where their light weight barely disturbs the water lilies as they move across them.

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If you enjoyed this post and would like to see more great images of birds (there are snakes there too (and mammals and butterflies and dragonflies and plants…..)), go to our 10,000 Clicks section where you will find our big (and growing) gallery page here at 10,000 Birds.


Written by Redgannet
Redgannet has been working for over 33 years as a crew member/flight attendant and enjoys the well-ventilated air of the outdoors. The nom de blog, Redgannet, was adopted to add an air of mystery and to make himself more attractive to women. His father first whetted Redguga's appetite for all things natural by buying him his first pair of 7x35s and a copy of Thorburn's Birds. Having no mentor beyond an indulgent parent, he spent the first season hoping for an Egyptian Vulture at the bird table in his English garden. His most memorable birding moment is seeing an Egyptian Vulture with those same binoculars 26 years later. Redgannet is married to Canon, but his heart and half of his house belongs to Helen and their son Joseph. He is looking forward to communicating with people who don't ask if he is searching for the "feathered variety" of bird.