Today's "5" Star photo is a Black Racer usually found in the southeastern part of the US but extends into southern Arizona as well. This is a marginal "5" Star photo. I think I bumped it up to five because it is such a beautiful snake and very, very fast. We've seen him "fleeing" down our driveway being chased by a dozen or more Gambels Quail. Here he is just resting under one of our agaves.
Black racers are only active during the daytime and are most active in warm weather. At night and during cold weather they take refuge in burrows. Racers hunt by sight and are often observed actively foraging during the day. They are not active at night. They eat a wide variety of prey including insects, lizards, snakes, birds, rodents, and amphibians. In turn, they are preyed upon by a variety of predatory birds, mammals and snakes such as kingsnakes and larger racers. When captured, prey are not constricted and are consumed alive.