Tiny Snake


When I got home from work yesterday, Claire met me in the garage and said, “Grab your camera. Meet me in the dining room.”

All I could think of was some sort of gross CSI crime scene waiting for me in the dining room (with a cat as the suspect). While I wouldn’t flinch from trying to take exceptional photos in that scenario, that still didn’t match her level of excitement.

In the second image (my favorite of the bunch), I was trying to take the picture with one hand while I held the snake in the other hand. I do not own a macro lens (yet!). Instead, I have some Quantaray close-up filters, but they’re notoriously difficult to use. They create an incredibly shallow depth of focus, and make it very difficult for the camera to focus. I think that really shows up in this image… I just couldn’t get the sharp focus I wanted (but I still love it – what do you think?).

These images were taken with a collection of various different close up filters (from x2 to x7).


  1. Wow, great shots! I like them all – like the way you’ve included the coins to get a sense of ‘scale’ (excuse the pun…!). The second one looks sharp enough to me. Top stuff!

  2. What a cute lil thing! Our cats sometimes bring us baby snakes. Fortunately they’re dead ones, as they are poisonous vipers.
    I was told once that with the venomous snakes, the smaller ones can be quite dangerous, so I tend to stay away from grabbing them. Beautiful animals though and you managed to capture that well in your photographs!

    PS and Off topic- hope it’s ok for me to be linking back to different blogs of mine. If it’s a problem, please let me know and I’ll stick to one of my two main blogs. Thanks!

  3. the name of this snake should be Leptotyphlops carlae and was found in Los Barbados of Mid American.

    are you in south of US?

  4. @Alan – thanks! I really enjoyed shooting this snake… it was hard to pick four favorites for this post!

    @Ann – feel free to rotate as needed. As long as your sites aren’t promoting bigotry, I’m happy to host your links.

    @Frank – I live in New Hampshire, USA. From what I can tell, the Barbados Threadsnake (or Leptotyphlops Carlae) is smaller than the snake I found, and is not found in my area. I submitted a copy of the third photo to a group that does species identification; we’ll see what they come up with!

  5. So is the blue a reflection? It doesn’t show in all views. I really like the shot with him “grinning” between your thumb and finger! I bet he’s grateful it’s you, not Merkel, who picked him up…. So how did he get in the house? Any bite wounds? What did you do with him? Too fun!

  6. He was so tiny, I initially thought it was a worm, which Muffet has been known to hunt and munch. He did suffer a mid-section chomp wound which caused only the front and back portions of his body to move, with the middle remaining paralyzed. This is why I was so calm when James arrived home – the little thing wasn’t exactly going anywhere (unlike the other creatures the cats offer which must be chased, trapped and either eliminated or set free outside). After enjoying his tiny-ness for quite some time that evening, James released him behind the vegetable garden in the woods toward the wetland. His name is Lucky 🙂

  7. This one’s not a viper based on the open mouth shot, but you should be extremely careful of random baby snakes. Baby Rattlers pack more venom than the adults, and they don’t have rattles yet.

  8. I think that the photos are awesome and the focus is good as well.
    I have seen 2 snakes out in the yard so far. I predict that it will be a big year for the snakes!

  9. I like the last one the best, probably because of the soft focus effect. I’ve never tried using closeup filters. My point and shoot has a macro setting but I’m saving up for a digital SLR and I will make sure I have enough to get a macro lens.

  10. Axiom Wolf says:

    Absolutely beautiful picture, it’s ironic that you would have a picture of a snake as your most recent post the first time I visit your blog. I just so happened to have dreamed of one last night. It was a little bigger, but just as beautiful.

  11. Word from the identification photo group I used is that this is a Northern Brown Snake (Storeria Dekayi). By the size of this one, it is a juvenile, but it won’t get a lot bigger. The adults reach about 13 inches in length.

    @Lee, as a former desert dweller, I know exactly what you’re talking about. I was careful, I promise!

    Thanks for all the kind words, everyone!

  12. I didn’t know before that a snake could look so cute. A tiny snake is a snake. I think I still couldn’t help to touch it. The coins give good effect to the pics.

  13. I love snakes. They are adorable…

  14. Oh wow, I never seen anything like this before. That is crazy how small the snake is. Is it possible to be that small? I am amazed by nature.


  15. I am going to choose to focus on the photos and not the subject. They are quality.

  16. It’s just a baby! Not that I particularly find snakes warm, fuzzy and cute- these photos make it adorable.

  17. John Kohl says:

    Like the first pic the best…the blue looks great against the yellow. Great work on the shot!

  18. Fun little find to take photos of in Macro mode. We have little geckos all over, I am going to have to try this myself. Fun post.

  19. I like how it looks destorted for the 3rd picture. The snake somehow look great with the yellowish background. So even if it seems there’s smudges it is like it added to its effects.

  20. I don’t think you mentioned what type of snake it was? Obviously it’s harmless. But would be interested to know if it’s a baby. If that’s the case I’m sure the mother is around somewhere? lol.

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