There is a rare species of snake that I've wanted to see more than any other species for years. It is the Eastern Indigo Snake. It may still occur in low numbers where I work on Eglin Air Force Base, but it hasn't been documented from there in over a decade. I've gone to a couple different locations that I've heard still have fairly healthy populations, but after many fruitless hours of searching, this snake begins to take on a phantom-like persona in my mind. Recently, my friend Brandon and I went on one more search for this elusive serpent. Delayed gratification leads to satisfying success!
Eastern Indigo Snake (Drymarchon couperi)
The individual that we found looked to be over 6.5' long, and almost as thick around as my forearm. It was basking near this Gopher Tortoise (Gopherus polyphemus) burrow.
At first glance, this snake looks to be simply a large, shiny black snake, but it has some beautiful iridescence in the black, as well as some neat reddish tones around the face.
Here's a close-up of part of the snake where you can see the individual scales and the skin between them.
This snake had probably shed very recently, and had such clear eyes. If you zoom in on this photo you can see trees, sky, and the sun reflected in them.