I was in love. What style! What restraint! The snake did nip me on the hand once, but otherwise decided to communicate not by biting, but by putting on a calm display of displeasure.
These are beautiful little insect-eaters that I see DOR a few times a year but hardly ever catch alive.
The snakes were fun, but the real target was the terrapins. We spotted this girl digging a nest hole on the side of the road (note that it was low tide, contrary to what I usually hear about them coming up to lay at high tide).
We saw this really pretty girl walking around looking for a nice patch of dirt.
I love that concentric ring pattern on the scutes.
On our second sweep of the day, after the rat snake, we saw one of my little favorite herps booking it across the hot dirt road - a female mud turtle (Kinosternon subrurbrum).
If you're ever wondering whether the little homely turtle in hand is a mud turtle or a musk turtle/stinkpot (Sternotherus oderatus), check the belly - the plastron. A musk turtle has a highly reduced but whole plastron. You see the legs and tail around the edge of the plastron. The mud turtle has a more complete plastron with a hinge just above the bridge (hence the genus name).
Here's a stinkpot for comparison:
I'll wind up with another box turtle we found just as we were leaving - what a nice head on this turtle.