Category Archives: New Photos
Despite the dry conditions, we were still able to manage a few neat finds on our recent road trip through Thailand. This Green Vine Snake (Ahaetulla nasuta) was found sleeping in a low branch one night near the Burma border in Erawan National Park.
Searching for Vine Snakes at night is the easiest way to spot them as they tend to sleep at the end of branches, in a somewhat conspicuous manner. Seeing a green snake bundle in a sea of green leaves can be difficult, but once you get used to it, the act can be repeated several times a night. Photographing them at night does present challenges for artistic expression though, unless one has the time to rig an overly-elaborate flash setup. I always find it interesting though that during my travels and the educational talks that Ash and I provide for the locals, the general populace is pretty terrified of this cute little guy. They falsely believe that because of its head shape (Which slightly resembles that of a viper) that it can deliver a deadly bite. Luckily for them, the bites are generally entirely benign unless gnawed on sufficiently. Even then they can inject only a weak venom that will cause mild local irritation in rare cases.
After finishing our 7 day liveaboard through the Surin and Similan islands in the Andaman Sea, I’m glad to say that we knocked off a few bucket list animals. This Yellow-lipped sea krait (Laticauda colubrina) was my first encounter scuba diving with sea snakes and I was actually more excited to see this than anything else on the trip which includes Whale Sharks and Mantas. Call me crazy but I am enthralled with the idea of marine reptiles, especially snakes.
What a marvelous feat of evolution for these terrestrial creatures to have carved out a niche for themselves in a seemingly foreign and hostile environment. Still needing to come ashore to nest and drink fresh water, these snakes spend the vast majority of their lives hunting, sleeping, and mating under the waves of the worlds tropical oceans.
This particular snake is one of the most iconic of the sea snakes but there are 62 recognized species that occupy anything from mangroves, estuaries, reefs, and even the open ocean. The Yellow Lipped Sea Kraits famously come ashore in the state of Sabah, Borneo (Where I happen to be right now) so I’m very much looking forward to more opportunities to photograph these guys and hopefully have some more time to get some standout shots.
And a quick fun-fact: Though extremely venomous they rarely show hostility towards divers and carry on with their daily activities without being hindered by our presence. It is often said it is safe to be around them due to their mouths being too small to physically bite a human. This is, in reality, a blatant fallacy as there are several bite cases per year from fisherman removing them from nets. Nonetheless it was far less nerve-wracking to photograph this Elapid than most.
For the first time in years, I actually spent some time sight-seeing around a city like a regular tourist! Amazing, I know. Luckily, and unluckily we were in HCMC for Tet, the lunar New Year. This meant a lot of parties and fireworks but made traveling around very difficult. Most people get between 3 and 10 days off for Tet so most businesses close and all prices are doubled. Still, we enjoyed ourselves and took a different caliber of photographs to share with all of you. Hope you like them!
I’ve come back from yet another trip out to the Virgin Islands. I stayed on St. Croix (STX) this time for about 2 weeks and got a couple good shots diving off her shores, mainly from the reef at the end of my driveway. Not as many as I would have liked to though so I guess I’ll just have to go back soon!