Nature's Place

Snake in the Grass

I was out walking through the tall dry grass one recent sunny day and was about to put my foot down when I caught a sense of something out of place – made me stop dead.

A shape that only one creature I know makes, a long and perfect double S. It was obviously a snake from the go but the oddest thing is it didn’t move when I nearly trod on it.

I stopped mid-stride and pulled back slowly and tested with my stick, an indispensable tool. When I was satisfied it wasn’t going to strike I got closer for a rare look at a snake in the wild.

It still didn’t move and I saw its eye was glazing over, a little milky, a sign of death long over. Inspecting it closely from head to ‘foot’ I could see what happened, why it died on this spot.

Its tail was wrapped in a dried out stalk of the long grass that grows here. The grass and tail were intertwined the way you see snakes mating on tv, sometimes, and it looked like the snake was trying to pull away.

But instead of untwining as snakes can, this one tried to pull straight off the grass and the grass cut into its tail, down to the bone, tighter and tighter the more the snake struggled.

And that’s how it died, struggling to live. Held firmly to the spot by a thread of grass wound tight around its tail.

Strange that the snake would have been caught so easily but that’s nature, you can’t take nature for granted.

It was a perfect death anyway. And a perfect life.

Who’s to say otherwise?

Mark Berkery ……. Click any picture and click again to enlarge

12 Responses

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  1. standingoutinmyfield said, on 28/04/2012 at 10:39 pm

    Wow…any idea what species?

    • Mark said, on 29/04/2012 at 12:57 am

      No idea, just came upon it one day, it having spent the night struggling against the entwining with the grass and then next day it was gone, eaten probably. But a guess would be an Eastern Brown snake, very common here.

  2. niasunset said, on 28/09/2011 at 5:45 pm

    This was an interesting story and you captured so nicely, Thank you Mark, with my love, nia

  3. emerrube said, on 19/08/2011 at 10:34 pm

    oooh…that’s sad. snakes are another creature that fascinates me so. I’m overly cautious around snakes, but I find them quite interesting. I saw a eastern hognose snake once. at the time I didn’t know what it was. I immediately looked it up when I could. then I wished I would’ve known what it was when I saw it. I read that they play dead! they gack and everything. lol. that would’ve been so fun to watch. :)

  4. Lunar Euphoria said, on 19/08/2011 at 5:16 am

    How interesting!

    • Mark said, on 19/08/2011 at 12:04 pm

      It is, isn’t it. That a snake would get caught like that and not just untwine itself, and can’t drop the end of its tail like many small lizards. Maybe it panicked in the dark? Do snakes panic?

  5. fatcatfromvox said, on 19/08/2011 at 2:07 am

    Ouch, what a way to go…It probably took it quite some time to die :s Lovely photo, though I wish it was from a happier setting – snakes are such wonderful critters!

    • Mark said, on 19/08/2011 at 4:31 am

      It’s only death, nothing to be regretful of, comes to us all in some way …

      • fatcatfromvox said, on 19/08/2011 at 7:49 am

        True enough, but I must say I prefer to meet live critters over dead ones – no offense meant, it’s still a cool picture!

        • Mark said, on 19/08/2011 at 12:01 pm

          You could say living is the death of a million cuts … ((:

          No offense taken. For live creatures check out the other 300+ posts linked here : and over on the sidebar under recent posts.

          … best. M

  6. jamyunmiun Micheal said, on 18/08/2011 at 9:55 pm

    longing for your new post Mark..lastly it come…Thanks..amazing..not scared? its a nature

    • Mark said, on 19/08/2011 at 4:28 am

      G’day Michael. A momentary fear arose in the body, a heightened alertness then the quiet of the realisation of death, void, nothing to be. ((:

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