Same snake as in the opening shot for the reptiles. When I first saw this thing on the ground I literally had no idea what snake it was. I had never seen the immature color form of the Southern Black Racer, Coluber constrictor priapus. He was not as fast as his mama and I caught him without much trouble. As they age they become a pure blue-black color and lose all those fine spackles and spots. At this tender age, as you can see, they are magnificent snakes.

And then years later, I am snipping some grapevine just fifty yards from my front door and there is the second juvenile Blue I have ever seen. This one even rustier and slightly smaller. Really lovely thing again though. I hope there are many. And I have seen several adult Racers on my property.

This is an adult of the local and rare Everglades Racer, C. c. paludicola. It looks quite a bit like the Southern Black adult but occurs only in the tip of Florida. This one was sleek and looked as if it had freshly molted.

A racer, head up, in full alert. Looks dangerous; isn't. Nice white chin plates.

One from Camp Robinson in defense position. Sometimes they run, sometimes they don't. This one was doing the coil and inflate and full tail rattle. Never struck. Normal chin plates on this one.

One from my front yard in 2013. A youngster that looks fresh skinned. Took off across my driveway and I headed it off. Perhaps from inexperience it turned and spiralled up into a coiled ball. I just lifted the whole coiled mass up, walked into my front door and grabbed my camera and walked out into the light. The snake never blinked. You can see my fingers through the coils. Happy to have the youngsters in my yard. 

This one seemed to have taken over the hole back by my building that was once a Coachwhip hole. Don't know how these species get along but I am assuming not well enough to share a hole. The slinking head up posture once again. 
Okay, now I am just collecting Racer shots in the hunt/head-up/cobra position. This one from the north end of Lonoke county in 2017.  

Masticophus flagellum flagellum, the Eastern Coachwhip, in the dark form that is found only in the Arkansas and Oklahoma regions. These always look scaly to me. And the black scales usually have pale edgings and appear to be lifting at their rear edges. Note the scale crowding at the neck just behind the head. And the face that looks shorter and more arched in the eye. They appear snub-nosed to me. Whereas the Racers and Rat snakes appear more open-faced.

These things are land-based rockets. Once frightened they are a vanishing trick. Attempts to catch them are relatively futile but can result in heavy non-venomous injury due to tearing teeth and a wild, flagellant attachment to freedom.

The Western Rat Snake, Elaphe obsoleta, (previously Black Rat Snake), the only other common dark snake in the state. Always has a whitish underbelly. This specimen was over six feet in length and getting close to a skin shedding from the clouded eyes. It is the dark form. In the southern and SE portion of the state the adults retain the blotching pattern of juveniles with influence from the Texas Rat Snake population. These are excellent tree climbers. They can be very docile but can bite suddenly without provocation.

This Western Rat was out in my meadow on Round Mountain in March. Looked like it had not even fed yet. About a 2.5 footer with a fresh face and keen eye.  

One of the western Whipsnakes. Long, slender fast things, this one popped up in a Yucca in Carlsbad, NM and gave me "the look." These are related to the racers. This is the Central Texas subspecies, Masticophus taeniatus girardi, with the white stripes down the side that do indeed look like a painted wheel was rolled with only one side covered with paint. I love that enormous eye.