During my visit to the Sequoyah National Wildlife Refuge in Oklahoma, I had the opportunity to capture a photo of a Northern Diamond-backed Watersnake basking on a log in the river. This particular log had a dragonfly perched on it underneath the snake.

Northern Diamond-backed Watersnake On Log
Northern Diamond-backed Watersnake On Log

Northern Diamond-backed Watersnakes can often be found basking on logs or branches hanging over the water at the refuge. However, they are known to quickly drop into the water and swim away if approached by humans.

It’s important to note that Northern Diamond-backed Watersnakes have sharp teeth intended for holding slippery fish, and their bite can be very painful. While they typically only resort to biting if harassed or handled, their defensive behavior is often mistaken for aggression and can lead to them being confused with the venomous Cottonmouth snake.

To capture the photo of the Northern Diamond-backed Watersnake on the log, I was driving along the auto tour road near the Tuff boat ramp at around 8:41 in the morning. When I spotted the snake to my left (south), I turned left (west) at the intersection and drove a short distance to get a better angle.

To take the photo, I used my Canon EOS 7D Mark II camera equipped with a Canon EF 100-400 mm f/4.5-5.6L IS II lens. The camera was stabilized on a bean bag draped over the open window of my pickup truck.

Overall, capturing the image of the Northern Diamond-backed Watersnake on the log was an incredible experience. It’s always a privilege to witness and photograph wildlife in their natural habitat, and I’m grateful for the opportunity to share this photo with others.

Camera Settings

  • AV Mode
  • Aperture: f8
  • ISO: 320
  • Shutter speed: 1/800 of a second
  • Focal Length: 400 mm