Flower of the Day: Lizard’s Tail

Saururus cernuus; Saururuaceae (lizard tail family)

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From the towpath I looked into the deep shade of a barely-dry vernal pond and saw hundreds of white plumes floating above a mass of green:

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I figured it was lizard’s tail, but wanted to get a closer look (and some pics, natch), so I scrambled down a loose rock slide (very careful not to trod on any plants), thinking something like “this is probably great snake habitat”. Got some pics – even at ISO 6400 many were still woefully underexposed – and started to scramble back up the rocks.  Heard a rustle.  No big deal, hear that all the time. Had a look.  Two very thick coils of black.  Was getting the camera up when the thing hissed at me.

Pretty sure it was an eastern hog-nosed snake, but honestly I didn’t stick around long enough to get a better look.  No pictures, either.  If only I’d known that it likes to hiss and play dead, without biting… oh well.

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