Maureen Wilks

Artist, Photographer, Writer

I have been fascinated by snakes ever since I met my husband Bob, no pun intended. He had been handling, rescuing and keeping snakes since he was a little boy.  Together we spent the summer months on evening drives looking for snakes, rescuing them from backyards and shooing them off busy highways and byways.  We brought many of these slithery reptiles home to watch and photograph before releasing them back into the wild, where we found them.
The summer of 2004 was a good year for snakes. We came across 14 of the 23 different species that live in Socorro County. 

The most common non venomous snake in the area is the Bullsnake or Gopher Snake, which when aroused likes to huff and puff and mimic the its more dangerous cousin, the rattlesnake that also lives in the area.

I came across Huff and Puff on a drive in the San Mateo Mountains. He was stretched out across the road and allowed me to pick him up with my special grabber without complaint. Once in the bucket he began to huff and puff. After taking his photograph I returned him the following week to the same spot, except I set him free away from the road.

I played with the image until the idea of a headdress emerged at which point I worked on the background, which was also created from the same image.

Inca Headdress
​50 Prints

12x16 in
Fine Art Paper

Huff & Puff, a ​Bullsnake