The dry leaves betrayed this little snake on Oct. 11, 2012, when I was hiking Blue Hill Mountain in Blue Hill, Maine. I located him by sound. While hiking up the Osgood Trail, I heard a rustle to the left of the trail. The snake was slithering over a fallen birch tree. I tried to keep my eyes on him while I clawed through my backpack for my long camera lens, but as I switched lenses on my camera, I dropped my eyes for just a moment, and when I looked back up, the snake was gone. I scanned the leaves surrounding the log several times and then moved outward. He was nowhere to be seen. I took a step forward, and a slight movement drew my eyes back to the fallen birch. The snake was right beside it. He was nearly impossible to see, half buried in colorful autumn leaves. This time, I didn’t let him out of my sight as I snapped photo after photo until he moved deeper into the leaves and farther from the trail.

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Aislinn Sarnacki

Aislinn Sarnacki is the BDN Act Out editor, focusing on outdoor recreation and Maine wildlife. She can be reached at asarnacki@bangordailynews.com. Follow her on Twitter: @1minhikegirl, and Instagram:...