Monday, 27.9.04, it was lunchtime and Brian Stone (The Natural) was driving, I was the passenger. Our destination: the pits at Etton/Maxey. As we neared our parking place Brian slammed on the breaks and as I screamed he shouted "grab your camera!". I screamed like a wimp, not because with the whiplash, but because I thought the creature slithering slowly across the road was about to be a flattened garter snake.
But, thanks to the breaking power of the Fiat Tipo, the Grass Snake was still intact and we photographed it before it went off. Our mission was realy to save it from the next car, but it wasn't that fond of me, and opened its mouth in a rather threatening way (incidentally, its a sort of orangey yellow inside). Eventually (with a little encouragement) it made its way to the other side of the road (at some speed I may add)
If you look closely at the photo, there is clearly blood coming out of both nostrils and the eyes are bright red (I believe they are usually golden). So, I reckon the snake had had a bit of an accident prior to meeting us (and that is probably why it was going so slowly when we first saw it). That said, it moved pretty well when we were there and slithered off quite happily into the grass, so I don't think it had a terminal injury.
..and closer-up, for those who crave more detail.