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Now, I certainly didn’t wake up this morning and decide, “Hmmm, today’s the day I will photograph a snake.” Nonetheless, today I photographed a snake!

Here’s the story. I was out by the ferns (common ferns, nothing fancy) because they were bent all over each other due to the abundance of rainfall we’ve had and the fronds were forming some unique patterns that I thought might yield an interesting photograph.

While in the middle of a shot, a yellow lady bug lands on one of the fronds, which was surprising since I didn’t know ladybugs came in different colors (they do – lots of colors). I zero in on the ladybug when out of the corner of my right eye, I spot something dark against the bright green color of the ferns.

At first, I thought it was one of those striped tension straps that must have been dropped by the contractor who put in my neighbor’s new sunporch. Seriously. I was just about to grab it when something in my brain warned, “STOP! That’s a SNAKE!”

Cool! 😀

Just a small Garter Snake, nestled on top of the ferns and looking straight up at me. (I imagine I interfered with his plan for a yellow ladybug breakfast??)

“Spring Loaded” (Common Garter Snake) Nikon D300, 70 mm, F6.3, 1/500s, ISO 400, SB800 w/Gary Fong Lightsphere Cloud, -1.7EV

My goal was to get a shot of him flicking his bright red tongue, but he would only do so whenever I’d lower my lens. The minute the camera was poised for the shot he would simply stare back at me. (Ain’t that always the way?)

Drop the lens…flick, flick, flick; raise the lens…nothing. I attempted a few fake out moves but he was wise to me. And so, our volley of ‘drop, flick, raise, stare’ went on for a few minutes until he tired of the game and slithered away to catch his breakfast elsewhere.

Sooooo, I get today’s shot sans tongue and the yellow ladybug lives to see another day! 🙂

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