I finally got a snake to pose for me!
Northern water snake (Nerodia sipedon). Click for a larger picture.
This rocky little beach was the perfect camoflage for him.
I didn't even seen him at first. Then I briefly thought that he was a Copperhead.
I tried going down to the beach to take a closer picture, but he didn't think too much of that idea.
There are four subspecies:
Nerodia sipedon sipedon, Northern water snake
Nerodia sipedon pleuralis, Midland water snake
Nerodia sipedon insularum, Lake Erie water snake
Nerodia sipedon williamengelsi, Carolina water snake
My ancient Audubon reptile book shows only the common sipedon subspecies in this part of Alabama, although some websites suggest there should only be the Midland version here. The pleuralis is supposed to have "dark back markings narrower than spaces between them," which this one does not.
They don't lay eggs, but have live babies instead.