Below are a few photos of Ithaca, NY area Northern Water Snakes from July and August of 2009 (as always, click to enlarge). I was actually out trying to get bit when I took these, as I wanted to informally check out their anticoagulant saliva by comparing bites between these and comparably sized Eastern Garter Snakes (Thamnophis sirtalis sirtalis). The results? Well, I wimped out... all I could get close to were the larger water snakes and I wasn't THAT eager to see how much they could make me bleed. Hopefully I'll have better luck this year - ha!
Figure 1: A largish individual getting ready to shed. Note the opaque eyes and overall faded look.
Figure 2: An even larger (female?) individual basking on a boulder in the middle of a creek.
Figure 3: A smaller (male?) found a few feet from the above female.