Yesterday I shared a photo of my first Scissor-tailed Flycatcher of the year. Today I’m sharing my first snake of the year, an Eastern Garter Snake. I photographed this snake yesterday, April 9, 2023, crossing the auto tour road at the Sequoyah National Wildlife Refuge in Oklahoma. I was leaving the refuge for the day when I spotted it, and I parked my pickup and got out and got a few photos before it disappeared into the brush.

Eastern Garter Snake

Eastern Garter Snake

The Eastern Garter Snake, also known as Thamnophis sirtalis, is a common and widespread species in North America. Their distinctive appearance features three longitudinal stripes that range in color from green to brown or black, set against a lighter-colored background, providing excellent camouflage in their natural habitat.

One interesting fact about the Eastern Garter Snake is that they are ovoviviparous, meaning that the eggs hatch within the mother’s body and the young are born live. They are also known for their adaptability and can thrive in a variety of habitats, including forests, fields, and wetlands.

Eastern Garter Snakes are important predators in their ecosystems, feeding on small rodents, insects, and amphibians, which helps to control their populations. Despite their importance, they are often overlooked and undervalued.

My encounter with the Eastern Garter Snake was a memorable experience, and I’m grateful for the opportunity to capture and share its beauty with others. While I have encountered this species before, each encounter brings a new appreciation for the incredible diversity of wildlife around us. I look forward to continuing to explore and discover more fascinating species in the future, so stay tuned for more wildlife photography adventures on my blog.

Gear Used:

  • Camera: Canon EOS R5
  • Lens: Canon RF 100-500 mm F4.5-7.1 L IS USM


  • Location: Sequoyah National Wildlife Refuge (Oklahoma)
  • Date and Time Taken: April 9, 2023 (10:31 A. M.)
  • Exposure Mode: Manual
  • Aperture: f8
  • Shutter speed: 1/2500
  • ISO: 500 (Auto)
  • Exposure Compensation: +2/3
  • Focal Length: 500 mm

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Dekay’s Brownsnake