I spent about twenty minutes setting up and shooting this lovely peony.
Just as I was finishing up, I looked off to my right, just outside the flower bed, and look who was watching me, lying very, very still.
He's a gray rat snake, and didn't seem to mind me taking his picture at all, even with the flash popping every few seconds. In fact, he just lay there, frozen, hardly even breathing, . . . probably terrified I was going to eat him.
Once I had his picture, I retreated to the patio and watched him as he slowly, so slowly you could barely tell he was moving, crawled off into the woods. I try not to kill these guys; after all, they are "rat" snakes, and I believe they might even indulge in one of those pesky little chipmunks occasionally.