SNAKES might not be everyone’s favourite creature.
But a wildlife painter spent years trawling the countryside around Garstang and Longridge to take thousands of photographs of adders, the only venomous snake native to Britain.
Rodger McPhail, 58, selected the best of his insightful snaps, taken in the Trough of Bowland, for his book ‘The Private Life of Adders’.
The married father-of-two, who lives in Arkholme, near Carnforth, started taking the photographs around five years ago.
He said: “I didn’t know there were adders there until then.
“I’ve always had a fascination with snakes, and I was delighted to find they were so close.
“They’re quite easy to approach, as long as you move slowly.
“Their eyesight isn’t fantastic.
“Most wildlife has been photographed so often and so well, but adders have been neglected. Probably because they’re not very popular.
“People who don’t like snakes are not going to buy the book, but I hope it will be of interest to those who like snakes and reptiles.”
Mr McPhail said he was delighted to capture ‘the dance of the adders’ which, despite its happy-sounding name, is a fight between two rival males.
They rear up side by side, weaving and trying to get their chin on the other’s head to force it to the ground.
He added: “That’s the most spectacular thing that they do. Snakes don’t normally move very quickly, unless they have to. It’s quite a spectacular ritual.”