About Steve Creek
I am an Arkansas-based Wildlife Photographer. My specialty and passion for my photography is for the wildlife found throughout Arkansas and Oklahoma. I spend many hours each week in the outdoors and travel to many different areas throughout these two states.
All of my photos are unique and bring a touch of the outdoors, in. I hope that you find my work artistically inspiring; and through my photos, it is my hope that you find the same passion and admiration for the wild as I enjoy each day throughout my nature walks. There truly are not enough hours in the day to capture all the beauty that nature and wildlife has to offer.
The images displayed on this Photo Blog may be used for any non-commercial purpose after obtaining my permission.
If you have interest in licensing any of my photos for commercial purposes, or would like to discuss custom prints and/or services, please CONTACT ME.
© 2013 Steve Creek
All Rights Reserved
Wildlife Photography Tips
Category Archives: Reptiles, Amphibians
It is not to often that I can get a Snapping Turtle to smile for the camera.
I discovered this one crossing a road at the Sequoyah National Wildlife Refuge in Oklahoma. It was in a different location than the one I posted a few days ago. (Snapping Turtle Crossing)
Snapping Turtle Facts and Camera Settings
Snapping turtles have fierce dispositions; however, when encountered in the water, they usually slip quietly away from any disturbance. These turtles have evolved the ability to snap because unlike other turtles, they are too large to hide in their own shells when confronted. Snapping is their defense mechanism. However, these turtles rarely bite humans; they usually flee when threatened.
The snapper is an aquatic ambush hunter, capturing its prey with its beak-like jaws. (Wikipedia)
Over the years I have seen several Snapping Turtles crossing the road in this one area of the Sequoyah National Wildlife Refuge in Oklahoma. This crossing is on the tour road located near Shugg’s Pond and they cross over to Reeves Slough.
I wanted to show how this turtle looks prehistoric.
Snapping Turtle Facts
Snappers will travel extensively overland to reach new habitat or to lay eggs. Pollution, habitat destruction, food scarcity, overcrowding and other factors will drive snappers to move overland; it is quite common to find them traveling far from the nearest water source. This species mates from April through November, with their peak laying season in June and July. The female can hold sperm for several seasons, using it as necessary. Females travel over land to find sandy soil in which to lay their eggs, often some distance from the water. After digging a hole, the female typically deposits 25 to 80 eggs each year, guiding them into the nest with her hind feet and covering them with sand for incubation and protection. Incubation time is temperature-dependent, ranging from 9 to 18 weeks. In cooler climates, hatchlings overwinter in the nest. The Common Snapping Turtle is remarkably cold-tolerant; radiotelemetry studies have shown that some individuals do not hibernate, but remain active under the ice during the winter. (Wikipedia)
This Crawdad looks like it is trying to block me from continuing my hike but this is what they do when they feel threaten. I spotted it crossing a trail that I was on and when I got low to photograph it the Crawdad rears up, raising its claws threateningly. Most of the time they will also move backwards, flinging mud.
Crawdad Facts and Camera Settings
Crawdads live under rocks and debris on the muddy bottom of freshwater lakes and streams. They are active at night and crawl along the mud feeding on aquatic vegetation, worms, insects, mollusks, and decayed organic matter. Their pincerlike claws are used to crush and tear food into smaller pieces.
I spotted this Land Snail crossing a road that I was hiking on.
Land Snail Facts and Camera Settings
Land snails have a strong muscular foot; they use mucus to enable them to crawl over rough surfaces, and in order to keep their soft bodies from drying out. Like other mollusks, land snails have a mantle and they have one or two pairs of tentacles on their head. Their internal anatomy includes a radula and a primitive brain. In terms of reproduction, the majority of land snails are hermaphrodite (have a full set of organs of both sexes) and most lay clutches of eggs in the soil. Tiny snails hatch out of the egg with a small shell in place, and the shell grows spirally as the soft parts gradually increase in size. Most land snails have shells that are right-handed in their coiling.
A wide range of different vertebrate and invertebrate animals prey on land snails, and they are used as food by humans in various cultures worldwide, and are even raised on farms as food in some areas. (Wikipedia)
We have these Texas Ratsnakes everywhere here in Arkansas and Oklahoma. I spotted this one on the road at the Sequoyah National Wildlife Refuge in Oklahoma. Most of the time they will flee from you but I got lucky and was able to get close to this one for a head shot.
Facts About The Texas Ratsnake and Camera Settings:
This species eats a variety of warm-blooded prey, not just rats as the name implies. Any mammal or bird that is slow enough to catch and small enough to eat is fair game. Bird eggs are also a favorite.
While this species usually hunts by actively seeking after prey, it is also opportunistic and is certain to seize upon any suitable prey that wanders by it. A Ratsnake is a powerful constrictor that wraps its body around prey with lightning speed. Once a mouse or other rodent is clenched in a Ratsnake’s coils, there is little question as to the outcome. (Herps of Arkansas)