THE Traveler: Sue Kirchoff of Minneapolis.
The scene: A black-skinned parrot snake curls among water lettuce in the Tamshiyacu Tahuayo Regional Conservation Area. "It was probably hunting frogs or lizards," Kirchoff wrote in an e-mail, adding, "Found only in Central and South America, this slender snake is about 24-36 inches long. It is considered mildly venomous."
Destination: The Amazon — stretching over this part of northern Peru — is the world's largest rain forest, and home to more species of plants and animals than any other terrestrial ecosystem on the planet. "And you don't need to rough it there, Kirchoff wrote. "There are very nice all-inclusive lodges there, with comfortable beds, modern bathrooms, chef-cooked meals, and knowledgeable, English-speaking guides. I stayed at the AquAmazon Lodge in the heart of the Peruvian Amazon."
Getting the shot: "I took the shot leaning over the edge of a small boat on the water. We were paddling around looking for wildlife and spotted movement in the water lettuce. Then the snake spotted us, responding with an open mouth as I snapped photos," Kirchoff wrote. She used a Nikon D600 camera with a 70-300mm telephoto lens set at 125mm.
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