Silent Snake at Big Cypress National Preserve, Florida

snake big cypress national preserve

The snake stayed in that exact same position for at least 20 minutes–I never saw it move other than flick its tongue out every few seconds,” says my friend Chris Podetz, a non-blogger friend who snapped this amazing photo on a boardwalk in the Big Cypress National Preserve in Florida.  While the snake looks huge in this photo, Chris says it’s because of the angle and the zoom – it’s head is really only about 3 cm (1.18 inches) long.

I’m petrified of snakes, and more of a Cute Monkey Photos kind of a person, but found I couldn’t stop staring at this photo.

Photo copyright © Chris Podetz (used with his permission).

Laurel Robbins is the founder of Monkeys and Mountains, an adventure travel blog and company that helps people plan their active holidays in a sustainable way. Although Canadian, she lives in Germany. You can find her in the mountains on most weekends.


  1. Muza-chan March 15, 2012 at 7:53 am - Reply


  2. Italian Notes March 15, 2012 at 8:20 am - Reply

    Is the photo taken upside down or does it just look as if the snakes’ eyes are below the mouth?

  3. Laurel March 15, 2012 at 8:23 am - Reply

    @Muza-chan – Agreed, certainly wouldn’t want to be swimming there.

    @Mette – The photo was taken from above, so I think it’s just the angle.

  4. Jackie Smith @travelnwrite March 15, 2012 at 2:42 pm - Reply

    What an interesting angle and what a scarey looking subject. You’re right, it is hard to quit looking at it.

  5. Leigh March 15, 2012 at 4:38 pm - Reply

    I have had so many snake encounters – jumping over a rattlesnake, mountain biking over God knows how many of them as I’m flying downhill and screaming.
    So – yes- I also hate snakes and for that reason they find me.
    In a few weeks will spend a day kayaking in Okefenokee Swamp, southern Georgia – wonder what I’ll find there. Probably something like the one in your photo. Yikes.

  6. InsideJourneys March 15, 2012 at 4:58 pm - Reply

    Wow, I’d be running in the opposite direction.

  7. I don’t think I would have stayed close enough to this snake to take a picture!

  8. Cathy Sweeney March 15, 2012 at 6:30 pm - Reply

    Great photography, but I think snakes are pretty creepy– and a 3cm head is big enough. Kudos to your friend for getting so close.

  9. Nancie March 15, 2012 at 9:03 pm - Reply

    I wouldn’t be hanging around to take a photo!

  10. Laurel March 15, 2012 at 10:47 pm - Reply

    @Leigh – That sounds like terrible luck! I hate snakes, but fortunately haven’t had too many encounters with them.

    -I agree wit the others, I wouldn’t be sticking around to get the shot either, let alone sticking around for 20 minutes to see what the snake was doing. My friend likes all animals, even snakes, he’s much braver than I am.

  11. Dick Jordan March 16, 2012 at 12:31 am - Reply

    Based on the National Park Service Website for Big Cypress, it looks like this is a Water Moccasin, one of four venomous snakes that inhabit that park.

  12. Mary @ The World Is A Book March 16, 2012 at 3:46 am - Reply

    Not a big fan of snakes either but what a cool photo. Kudos to your friend for sticking around long enough to observe its behavior and get this picture of what looks to be venomous? Yikes!

  13. Anwar March 16, 2012 at 4:21 am - Reply

    I’m not petrified of snakes, as long as they stay where they are and I stay where I am… That is cool though. I used to catch snakes as a kid (mostly garden snakes), I don’t know when I realized that some snakes might not be good to catch finally set in though.

  14. Cherry Blossoms Washington DC Jefferson Memorial March 16, 2012 at 6:36 am - Reply

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  15. Sophie March 16, 2012 at 11:00 am - Reply

    I quite like snakes, if they’re not too close, that is. This photo I had to look at several times to see it’s a snake, though.

  16. Zhu March 17, 2012 at 12:05 am - Reply

    Really cool shot! I wouldn’t have guessed the snake didn’t move, I thought it was an action shot. Still, a brave photographer!

  17. Batch March 17, 2012 at 2:45 pm - Reply

    Hard to tell for sure from the photo if this is a brown water snake or a banded water snake.

    You can be certain it is not a water moccasin because it has round pupils. All venomous snakes of Florida have slit style pupils. I should say all venomous snakes NATIVE to Florida. We had a cable worker bitten by a Green Mamba in Plantation, Fl a little while back. The African snake has round pupils and one of the most potent venoms on the planet.

  18. cheryl March 17, 2012 at 4:45 pm - Reply

    Really scary but yet I can’t stop staring. 🙂

  19. Chris March 23, 2012 at 4:57 am - Reply

    Glad so many of you liked the photo. I was really fortunate to get such a good shot–most of the snakes I’ve seen high-tail it (pardon the pun) once they know I’m trying to get a better look at them. Thanks for the info about the pupils, Batch–I didn’t know that! I just didn’t think the snake was poisonous because it didn’t have a really wedge shaped head–a characteristic of MOST poisonous snakes in North America. I think it was a water-snake too (non-venomous), but I’m not sure what type.

  20. Traveling Ted March 26, 2012 at 4:53 am - Reply

    The Big Cypress is one of my favorite places. I have driven through it a couple of times and vow to come back and explore. Cool picture.

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