Reptiles in a forest are very hard to spot. It takes experience, high awareness and looking technique.. And it is all about looking because they seldom make a noise, and when you are moving they are usually absolutely still. They are masters of , so the technique is careful looking for shapes, eyes and slight color change. All of a sudden it is just there. Right in front of you and if you are lucky you are able to study them close for a while. I get this rush. It is like finding treasures.
This Amazone Tree Boa was over 6 feet long and we almost passed it. We cleared the area around, witch means looking thorough around for other danger, before moving closer to the snake. It was totally calm for a while. Lying curled up. In this position it is not able to strike very far and I am also calm. After a few minutes it starts to move and curls up into striking position. Even though it is not really poisonous it is time to move back. I am not that comfortable in classifying snakes so I basically think they are all dangerous when they are this close. As you can see in the picture it is very long and has a striking distance of 3-4 feet. If I stay it is just a matter of time before it attacks. So I pull back. We watch it gracefully disappear into the trees above.
Photographing snakes is absolutely facinating. The slight downside is that you must be quite close to get nice shots. And that does not correspond to the safety manual.
My life nearly ended at the age of 10. A poisonous snake bit me. Not dangerously poisonous to adult humans and usually not even to children, but I had an allergic reaction and the poison went into my bloodstream fast. I spent three days in intensive care not knowing the outcome. I recovered 100 percent and got out of the hospital. Later in life I had children of my own and father told me what it was like to drive me to the hospital in high speed. The anxiety. The doctor telling him to call my mother. I must admit it took me all these years to see the seriousness in this situation.
It has never effected my admiration for snakes, but it is always in the back of my head and I like to think it makes me a little more careful.