Wildlife Photography | A Slithering Huntress

I walked past the stone wall and heard the ever-so soft, gentle rustling of dried leaves.

I stopped because it didn’t quite sound the way leaves normally rustle in the wind. Then a caught a glimpse of movement underneath the leaves and out she popped her head and peered at me.

garter snake

click images to enlarge

I find if I go out in search of a particular photograph, I come home disappointed. I prefer to make hay when the sun shines. So when something presents itself, I grab the camera and let the story unfold.

Common Garter Snakes are a fairly docile snake, give birth to live young, and are the most commonly encountered snake a person comes across. She spent the better part of an hour searching every nook and cranny of the stone wall, my guess is in search for chipmunk babies because there have been a hand full of adults busily coming and going from the wall. In and out, up and down, she covered it all.

garter snake photo

garter snake photo

garter snake photo

garter snake photo

garter snake photo

garter snake photo

After an hour or so she came up empty handed and slithered off into the forest. Wish I would have seen her have a successful hunt, but isn’t that how life goes? Nothing comes easy, it always takes persistence and due diligence. Keep going, keep trying, or perish.

Want to learn more about how they hunt? Check out this post from last year.

The nerd details: I used my Nikon D600 and Tamron 180mm f3.5 macro lens. My macro lens is one of the first lenses I ever bought, and the only non-Nikon one I have in my bag…but I tell you what, I love that lens. I think I’ve had it for about 8 years now and haven’t thought about replacing it even once. It allows for the perfect reach without having to get too physically close to your subject and disturbing them from their natural behavior, it’s beautifully sharp (though you have to perfect your sniper shooter-breathing skills), and has withstood my wear-n-tear over the years shuffling around in my backpack and on my adventures. Definitely a great lens in my opinion.

K

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