Coiled on a weathered log, a rare cat-eyed snake basks in the morning sun.
Vivid gold and chocolate brown bands encircle the glistening body.
A distinctive yellow-gold eye peeks from between coils and reflects the early light. Several minutes pass before the sleek serpent unwinds and begins gliding across the surface.
The snake TMs hunt takes it to the top of the log where it remains momentarily draped.
The snake hangs motionless; concentrating on what may be a potential meal.
With flicking tongue it initiates a gradual descent exploring the woody crevices for prey. The cat-eyed snake is one of the rarest snakes in Texas.
They are primarily nocturnal, but like many creatures they are crepuscular, active at dawn and dusk, and this is the best time to catch a glimpse of this beautiful serpent. They are mildly venomous and have a slightly enlarged pair of rear teeth that ooze toxic saliva which enables the snake to immobilize small animals.
They feed primarily on mice, lizards and frogs. Cat-eyed snakes do not exceed three feet in length, and they are very slender, not much thicker than a forefinger.
Their lithe build helps them glide effortlessly thru the trees and also makes it difficult for predators to find them. They prefer thick Tamaulipan thorn thickets near water where they can locate a variety of prey to ambush, and they are extremely quick.
This specimen is searching a sabal palm frond when it suddenly disappears into the shadowy recesses.