This individual is either an Eastern Ratsnake (Pantherophis alleghaniensis) or Northern Black Racer (Coluber constrictor constrictor). I’m guessing the snake is a Northern Black Racer, as indicated by the coloration on the underside of its body. Expert opinions are invited and welcome!
Notice the milky blue/blue-gray color of the snake’s eyes, especially noticeable in the preceding photo. This may indicate the snake is pre-molting, that is, it’s getting ready to shed its skin.
Tech Tips: Photos like these illustrate why I prefer to shoot using single-point focusing and spot metering. In this case, I looked for a “window” through the vines and placed the focus point on the snake’s eyes/head.
Copyright © 2016 Walter Sanford. All rights reserved.
Tags: Barnyard Run, Coluber constrictor constrictor, Eastern Ratsnake, greenbrier, Huntley Meadows Park, molting, Northern Black Racer, Pantherophis alleghaniensis, Smilax sp., wetlands, wildlife photography