I have mentioned before that in our garden we have a small and annoying little pond; incidentally, we have decided that we must cover it up soon. It has occasionally given us proof of the existence of some local wildlife which we otherwise tend not to see, such as a sadly drowned mouse. Very recently, I thought I had found another disaster in its murky depths, but as I approached its edge, the creature I was concerned about because of its total immobility, proved very much alive. It dived fast and swam away to the other side.
It was a snake, obviously quite at home in the water but unable, having got in, to get any purchase on the smooth sides of the pond.
I found a corner behind some bushes from where I had a partial view of the plank, and so after a while, I took a very quiet look; the snake was actually out of the water and on the plank, which enabled me to take a quick, distant photo or two. When I looked again, later, the snake had disappeared, presumably into the nearby hedge, and has not been seen since.
Living in the far north of Scotland, I had never seen a grass snake, and always thought they were greenish in colour, but this, presumably youngish, was a sort of shiny beige, with beautiful, very regular and precise spots along its length. The collar, though, was very clear and helped with its ID. This has to be the couleuvre à collier, natrix natrix, the grass snake. The Albera book says: "diurne, parfois tres aquatique, elle peut se trouver loin de l'eau, dans les broussailles" - which says it all really!