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Good Friend

Good Friend
Photo Information
Copyright: Grzegorz Wieczorek (red45) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2636 W: 74 N: 9091] (31094)
Genre: Animals
Medium: Color
Date Taken: 2008-08
Categories: Reptiles
Camera: Canon EOS 400D, Sigma 70-300mm F4-5.6 APO DG Macro
Photo Version: Original Version
Theme(s): 40 - 49 Points (Chapter 12) [view contributor(s)]
Date Submitted: 2008-08-23 11:39
Viewed: 4812
Points: 48
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
This is my good friend - Grass snake. We meet together often around pond when I'm chasing D-flies for our competition with Horia. Very nice looking and friendly reptile.

The Grass Snake (Natrix natrix), sometimes called the Ringed Snake or Water Snake is a European non-venomous snake.

The Grass Snake is typically dark green or brown in colour with a characteristic yellow collar behind the head, which explains the alternative name ringed snake. The colour may also range from grey to black. The underside is lighter in colour. In Great Britain the Grass Snake is the largest reptile reaching up to 190 centimetres total length.

They prey almost entirely on amphibians, especially the common frog, although they also occasionally eat mammals and fish. Their bite delivers a toxin that, while not harmful to humans, is effective against their small prey. Grass Snakes are strong swimmers and are usually found close to fresh water.

Grass Snakes hibernate over the winter and mate soon after they emerge in the spring during April or May. The leathery skinned eggs are laid in batches of 8–40 in June to July and hatch after about 10 weeks. As eggs require a temperature of at least 21° C to hatch, rotting vegetation, including compost heaps, are preferred locations. The young are about 18cm long when they hatch and are immediately independent.

Not being venomous, their only defenses are to produce a foul-smelling fluid from the anal glands and/or feigning death by becoming completely limp. Sometimes, they will also perform fake attacks, striking without actually opening their mouths. They bite in defense rarely.

This snake is found in lowland areas of England and Wales but is almost absent from Scotland and not found in Ireland, nor is any other snake. It has a wide distribution in continental Europe, from southern Scandinavia to southern Italy. It is also found in north-western Africa. British Grass Snakes belong to the subspecies N. n. helvetica, but experts differ on the number of subspecies.

Two of the subspecies are considered critically endangered: N. n. cetti (Sardinian Grass Snake) and N. n. schweizeri. In 2007, the Grass Snake was included on the updated UK Biodiversity Action Plan as a species in need of conservation and greater protection.

From Wikipedia

nglen, siggi, Argus, liziafa, flashpoint, cicindela, jrobertop, jaycee, Luc, Art_R, Alex99, gannu, Seabird, haraprasan, meyerd, cataclysta, uleko, jlynx, boreocypriensis, Kaszek has marked this note useful
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ThreadThread Starter Messages Updated
To Kaszek: Nartnikred45 1 08-28 01:12
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Critiques [Translate]

Hi Greg,
Good image. It is well composed. Effective symmetry.
And of course it's a snake; always recommended:-)
Well done

  • Great 
  • nglen Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2883 W: 30 N: 9683] (36145)
  • [2008-08-23 11:44]

Hi Greg. What a clear close up of the Grass Snake. We had one in the fish pond at home the wife went mad I got it out and took it to the field to let it go. You have captured excellent detail and natural colours. The markings stand out well. TFs.

  • Great 
  • siggi Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 3097 W: 109 N: 12399] (52850)
  • [2008-08-23 11:46]

Witaj Grzegorz,
Bardzo piekne i ciekawe ujecie.Swietne detale i przepiekna kolorystyka.Ujecie w wodzie dodaje temu zjeciu uroku.
Pozdrawiam Siggi

  • Great 
  • Argus Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 5038 W: 260 N: 15594] (50626)
  • [2008-08-23 11:48]

Hello Greg,
What a fine portrait of a Grass Snake with its head sticking well out of the water!
The sharpness and composition with its reflection are superb. It must be your friend to allow you to get so close!
TFS this beauty,

Znakomity portret :) Doskonała jakość tego zdjęcia!
Pozdrawiam i czekam na kolejne Małgosia

Hi Grzegorz,
excellent capture of this natrix in its natural ambient.great management of light
and well composed

best sERGIO

  • Great 
  • mariki Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 838 W: 60 N: 2307] (9477)
  • [2008-08-23 13:11]

Hello Grzegorz,

A great shot of this snake. I like the composition. Very good sharpness. Great light and colours. I like the shadow of the snake which allows to see the underwater moss.

Hi Grzegorz.
I liked this perspective!
Great details of this beautiful snake.
Interesting register!
Best wishes,
José Roberto

  • Great 
  • joey Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1739 W: 224 N: 6872] (24909)
  • [2008-08-23 13:49]

Oh cool!! This is brilliant, Grzegorz!
How close were you?
I photographed a Grass Snake in water before but never got this close.
Excellent clarity, sharpness and detail.
Superb composition.

Very well done!


Ciao Grzegorz, splendid portrait with wonderful reflections, superb details and excellent sharpness, very well done, ciao Silvio

  • Great 
  • Janice Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 3277 W: 148 N: 6163] (18832)
  • [2008-08-23 15:47]

Yes, he does look a very nice looking and friendly reptile Greg! But I'd run a mile if I saw him. That's what's so good about NZ - NO snakes, only 1 native venomous spider. But now there are a few imported poisonous spiders in the country - from Australia and Asia.
Super shot showing all his scales - I do like his colouring too. He's gliding so well in the water.

  • Great 
  • jaycee Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2454 W: 10 N: 8044] (25460)
  • [2008-08-23 16:11]

Hi Greg,

I love this snake with part above and part below the water. The face and snakeskin are marvelous with excellent details and nice colors. The eye is wonderful. A very unusual and successful snake photo.


  • Great 
  • Art_R Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 244 W: 20 N: 839] (3892)
  • [2008-08-23 20:56]

Hi Greg , very nice photo of this snake , what a beautiful creature , always loved these guys but see so few grass snakes here. thanks for sharing it

  • Great 
  • Alex99 Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 4072 W: 133 N: 7096] (23735)
  • [2008-08-24 1:07]

Hi Grzegorz.
I cannot imagine better of quality image of the cute scene with wonderful snake. Skin reproduction, sharpness and details of the snake image, details of the water surface and underwater vegetation are amazing. Great shot. My compliments.

Witam Grzesiu!
Milo slyszec, ze masz takiego znajomego ;) Fajna fotka, nie latwo jest ustrzelic zaskronca w wodzie, nie tylko z uwagi na jego szybkosc ale i refleksy od wody. Tym zdjeciem przypomniales mi, ze gdzies powinienem miec fotke mlodego zaskronca, moze czas by ujrzala swiatlo dzienne? ;)
Notka jak zawsze z duza dawka informacji :)

  • Great 
  • gannu Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 988 W: 4 N: 3277] (14761)
  • [2008-08-24 2:33]

Hello Greg, Very good image. The composition is perfect and how did you notice. you waited for the fella to raise its head above the water. In anycase well done and well shot. Ganesh

HI, Greg,

excellent capture with great details and composition. tfs.

Man Yee

Hi Greg,
A nice capture of this beautiful friend of yours. Very well composed with sharp details. Thanks a lot for sharing.

  • Great 
  • meyerd Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 585 W: 64 N: 2238] (7531)
  • [2008-08-24 11:33]

Hi Grzegorz,

a wonderful portrait of the grass snake, it's rare to be able to shoot it in this pose. Perfect light! In the shadow you see the ground of the pond. Your mastery is evident here.

best greetings

Czec Grzesiu
Takiego stwora tez bym chetnie upolowal a nie tylko te motylki ;-) Fajne naturalne ujecie i piekny gad

  • Great 
  • uleko Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 3396 W: 172 N: 3310] (10940)
  • [2008-08-25 4:08]

Hello Greg,
Brilliant timing to get this Grass Snake popping its head out of the water. Great focus on the eye and excellent sharpness. Fine colours too and interesting shadow that displays the weeds in the water. Well done!
TFS and regards, Ulla

Hi Grzegorz,

A very impressive picture. Fantastic that you got so close. I like this shot very much. Well done.

Well done.

  • Great 
  • jlynx Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Note Writer [C: 87 W: 7 N: 46] (455)
  • [2008-08-26 5:40]

Świetny strzał. Sam jeszcze nie miałem okazji ustrzellić zaskrońca, chociaż jest ich sporo w Strykowie (także w wodzie). Widywałem naprawdę duże sztuki, a ponad metrowego miałem nawet w dłoni podczas kąpieli w jeziorze. Tutaj pięknie wstrzeliłeś się w jego oczy. Bańki na powierzchi wody ładnie podkreslaja przestrzeń. Bardzo dobra jakość zdjęcia.

Hi Friend Greg:)
Sory I missed this one perfect macro:(. Great capture of this beauty gass-maker -when it is handled- snake:) with great details and DOF. I also like the shadow on the water surface!
many thanks sharing this my friend!


Calkiem bliskie spotkanie z zaskroncem. Mam nadzieje, ze sie nie wykapales ;) Ladny portrecik. Dobra kompozycja. Podoba mi sie. Czy to nie nartnik w dolnej czesci zdjecia? ;)

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