I carefully snuck back the way I had come, climbed down, and took a wide circle to approach the snake from the front, across the narrow creek. When I got a few feet away, it started to move and I thought I had spooked it. But a moment later it lunged at something, and came up with a frog in its mouth. I wasn't quick enough with my camera to get a photo with the frog visible, but I got a few shots of the frog lump as it slid down the snake's gullet.
A minute or two after snarfing that hapless frog, the snake moved a couple of feet forward and took up another ambush pose as shown in this last photo. A couple of minutes after that, it made another lunge at a treefrog on the rock, but this time the frog leaped away and the off-balance snake slipped off the rock and into the creek. It swam over to the water's edge immediately and paused there, trying hard to project an air of "I meant to do that!".
- Bartlett, R. D., Tennant, A. 2000. Snakes of North America, Western Region
- Brennan, T. C. and Holycross, A. T. 2006. A Field Guide to Amphibians and Reptiles in Arizona
- Crother, B. I. (ed.) 2017. Scientific and Standard English Names of Amphibians and Reptiles of North America North of Mexico, with Comments Regarding Confidence in Our Understanding, Eighth Edition
- Ernst, C. H., Ernst, E. M. 2003. Snakes of the United States and Canada
- Rossman, D. A., Ford, N. B., Siegel, R. A. 1996. The Garter Snakes: Evolution and Ecology
- Stebbins, R. C. 2003. Peterson Field Guide to Western Reptiles and Amphibians, Third Edition