Not bad, for a smutphone

northern black racer Coluber constrictor constrictor in author's hand
It’s no secret that I am not a fan of smutphone cameras (or any other part of them for that matter) – they’re generally substandard and of course have too few controls. Though I admit that I haven’t tried any of the ridiculously expensive smutphones, because I have sense – I can’t fathom spending more, way more, on a freaking phone than I have on any of my used camera bodies. Despite my contempt, though, on rare occasions they can come in handy, such as when I have an angry northern black racer (Coluber constrictor constrictor) in my right hand and would have a difficult time with the Canon 7D. The Girlfriend is certainly not, in any way, going to assist in snake wrangling, besides which she wasn’t around this day. So when I saw the snake hurtle off like a shot from the front walk and managed to find it in the foliage of the garden, the only choice was the smutphone, and it did an acceptable job. You can even see the faint indication of the bite I sustained on my middle finger (one of three – racers aren’t complacent about handling, though they have itty-bitty teeth.)

Funny, World Snake Day was back on the 16th, and it had been over a month since I’d seen any snake at all despite searching, but within the past week I caught two in the yard, this one and a young eastern milksnake, a species I hadn’t spotted in forever – that smutphone image, taken at night but again with my hand full, was just what I expected and not worth publishing even here.

[I have to note that the snake’s position is not as it initially appears. The coil underneath the head is quite far removed from it, being the base of the tail; after the head, the body goes down through my hand and reappears from under my pinky, then curves in front of us back up and disappears behind my thumb, into the hand again, to emerge as the tail tip below.]

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