Northern Water Snake VI
Northern Water Snake VI
8x10 inch print on 11x14 inch archival paper. Comes signed by photographer, Trevor Frost, and hand captioned by author, Paul Rosolie.
We live in a time of slow crisis when countless species are vanishing. Across the globe we are losing creatures faster than we can count them. It has been described as the defining issue of our time, when we must accept that much of what is disappearing we have failed to understand. It is a time in which we are forced to reconcile being so insurmountably human that we struggle to grasp what is not legible to our own senses. Advances in our understanding of animal intelligence continue to pour in – but are usually focused on animals to which we can easily relate – whales, cats, canines, and primates. In short: mammals. It has become established that certain classes of taxa posses a greater depth than we are perhaps prepared or even equipped to understand. This series seeks to explore a more mysterious corner of the ontological debate - moments of mutual trust between scales and skin.
Snakes posses a hypnotic and enchanting power in our minds and a singular place in human mythology; from the Garden of Eden, to the Rod of Asclepius, to the great creators of Amazonian Rivers. There is perhaps no other creature that inspires such universal fear and awe - or is so widely misunderstood. We set out to shed mythic obscurity for an authentic connection to the nonhuman world. These photos are the result of months spent walking through the Amazon, often at night, through deep swamps and stunning ancient forest, in search of a tactile moment capable of bridging the nearly opaque boundary between species.
Some snakes can detect miniscule fluctuations in temperature and an unknown diversity of chemical and hormonal fluctuation through their tongues. They can tell when we are excited or scared – as well as when we are calm. They can feel our mood, breath, and our hearts. But can we feel theirs? Can a feeling of calm and safety be found fingers and coils? Though it is easy to forget from the climate controlled perch of a tall building - we are the children of ecosystems. Amidst the braided matrix of life that we at once worship and destroy are species that we depend on in ways that we are only just beginning grasp. While so much remains mysterious, this much we know is true: that a time when we are losing so much, the future of so many species are quite literally in our hands.