Am I Seen?

Moving as silently and smoothly as she can, trying to hide…

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Nikon D5100 f/5.6 ISO 800 1/250 sec 55-300@300mm – Autumn 2012

She is still pretty sure I see her.

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Two Toads and a Snake

I saw a flicker of movement under a log by the pond, so I moved the log.

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A small snake was revealed. He held very still while I tried to ease closer. My movements startled two toads, which leaped over the snake… The snake was more concerned with hiding from me than with finding breakfast, so nothing happened. All remained very still.

Ssso, What Else Is in the Pond?

Bridger was up fishing at the pond when he spotted a snake swimming by.

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D5100 f/22 ISO 800 1/250s 55-300@260mm – Summer 2012

Later that morning I went up to take some mid-day photographs. Usually I am there just after sunrise or just before sunset, but it turns out there is plenty going on in the heat of the day. Bridger’s snake swam by a couple of times, looking mighty cool and comfortable in the pond water. It surely was more comfortable there than I was on the bank in triple digit heat!

It is a pretty powerful swimmer if we can judge by the ripples it is creating! Does anyone recognize the variety of snake?

One more visitor to the pond.

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Nikon D5100 f/6.7 ISO 400 1/60s 55-300@300mm – Summer 2012

He trotted casually up to the pond while I was standing stock still waiting for a dragonfly to return to a stump. He didn’t notice me for some 25 minutes, but he was hidden in some brush where I could only occasionally glimpse an ear when he moved. Consequently, I only have two photos of him from that morning.

The photo is somewhat out of focus. It is amazing there is any sort of focus at all, as I had done something I rarely do, turned it to manual focus in an attempt to capture a dragonfly skimming the pond surface. My autofocus kept bringing the reflection into focus instead of the surface of the water. When I saw the coyote, I forgot all about focusing and just snapped a photo – I did, barely, remember to roll the little wheel, changing my aperture to allow for switching from sunlight to shadow.

Blends with Leaves

This Copperhead snake would blend in much better with all these dried leaves on the “forest” floor if only that pesky early morning sun wasn’t highlighting the roundness of its body and the beautiful texture of those scales.

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D5100 f/8.0 ISO 800 1/125sec 55-300@68.0mm – Spring 2012

I am glad I was watching for interesting things illumined by the sun’s rays. What a pretty snake – and I am glad I saw it before tripping over it! I guess greenbrier over the path serves some useful purpose 🙂

Tip of the Day: Watch Where You Are Walking!

I have wondered for some time why I haven’t seen snakes and tarantulas while out taking photographs.

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Nikon D5100 f/8.0 ISO 800 1/125sec 55-300@300mm – Spring 2012

I figure they are there and they hear me coming from a long way off. This one froze and hoped I (and the cat who was with me) would not notice her (or him?). I likewise froze, then slowly moved my camera up to my eye and snapped three photos before easing backward, away from the snake. The snake did not move. The cat, however, is definitely still a house cat; Lynx nearly sat on the snake’s tail!