Sunday, 16 August 2009

Another slow worm

It's a while since I saw my first slow worm, and today, whilst picking the first blackberries of the season for a crumble, I spotted my second, only a few yards from the previous sighting 16 months ago.
This time I pick it up. It is smooth, silky and cool. It sits calmly in my hand, curling itself gently through my fingers. I can feel its strength, its muscularity. It is not as bronzey coloured as No.1 SW, and has a distinct extended middle. A pregnant female perhaps. It also reminds me of Hard Hattie, although it is shinier and the scales are less pronounced and rough.
Suddenly it turns from a no-legged lizard to a snake; its forked tongue flickers, tasting the air. It can't be more than ten inches long, but it is feisty.

I carry No.2 SW back to where I found it, and it slides into the long grass as if greased with candle wax.

7 comments:

Scriptor Senex said...

I'm so jealous. Spent ages at my daughter's in Exeter last year trying to get a decent photo of the tongue flicking out (without success) as one sunbathed on her fence.

Mopsa said...

Hardly a perfect photo SS - more than a bit fuzzy, but it shows off the tongue which was the intention!

PG said...

I adore slow worms - we get very few in Oxfordshire, I only see them when we go down to Devon (Our friends have them nesting in their garden). In fact, I have only seen one here, in an overgrown graveyard. You got a great shot there!

Yorkshire Pudding said...

"...as if greased with candle wax" - figuratively most effective you clever wordsmith you!...Although I have seen adders and grass snakes I have never seen a slow-worm. I am jealous.

Winchester whisperer said...

At least it's not a Burmese python!

Mopsa said...

PG - too fuzzy for my liking but it captured the moment.

YP - how nice of you to say so - an English teacher to the core.

WW - ouch!

GeraniumCat said...

Gosh, aren't you lucky! and wonderful pictures. I've only seen them in Devon, too cold up here in the north, I think, though we get adders here.