I spotted this stripey patterned snake on moss-covered rocks on the way down the path to Whiteford Sands very early one morning. At first I thought the adder was sunning itself, warming up to get going and hunt. It stayed obligingly still so that I could take its picture. It took me a while to realise that, unfortunately, it had expired, was dead, was no more. A small wound behind the head seemed to indicate that it had been picked up by a bird and then dropped by accident. It was the prey not the predator that morning. 

 

COPYRIGHT JESSICA WINDER 2012

All Rights Reserved

13 Replies to “Adder at Whiteford”

  1. Oh my! At first I felt nervous even looking closely at the adder. And wondering how you summonsed the courage to get that close. But then read more closely to discover that it had died. Good photos, though. Fascinating…

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  2. They are lovely creatures. They won’t normally bite. They would run away if they could. They tend only to bite if you tread on them or suddenly disturb them. It is interesting that they show a great deal of colour variation – I had a look at Google images of the species. But they all have that lovely black zig-zag stripe down the back.

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  3. Most snakes are quite gentle, certainly in the UK, and prefer to slither away unseen.
    Where we used to live in Darkest Norfolk, we had a healthy population of grass snakes and I used to see them quite frequently, even picking up one, but since then, I’ve not seen a single snake in the wild except a dead adder out in the marshes(it had been killed by a grass cutting tractor) I have been told that one area along the beach from us has an adder population but I deliberately avoid this area when out with my dog for obvious reasons.
    I’ve never had the slightest fear or even wariness of snakes but my father is totally phobic, so it was never a pet on our list of things we might have had…

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  4. I have seen living adders occasionally when walking on the Dorset coast. They moved so fast it would have been impossible to photograph them well. I was tempted to pretend that the adder in the post was alive but some herpetologists would have been bound to realise. However, when I have discovered adders resting under pieces of corrugated iron and the like, they are slower.

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  5. You got it!
    It’s a mangling of something from the Parrot sketch…It is an unParrot, it is no more, it has shuffled off this mortal coil etc.
    Funny how much Python has suffused the language with its gems for effortlessly; much like Shakespeare!

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  6. Strange. I didn’t really know. I was thinking about the word ‘python’ being a snake. But I suppose we have all been unconsciously affected by years of exposure to excerpts from the MP Flying Circus.

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  7. Snake skins have lovely, colours, patterns, and textures. The exotic snake images are not quite as sharp as I would like them to be but the photographs were taken through protective plate glass with its attendant distortions and reflections – so I think I can be excused.

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