Northern Diamond-backed Watersnake On Log

By | September 6, 2019

I photographed this Northern Diamond-backed Watersnake on a log at the Sequoyah National Wildlife Refuge in Oklahoma. The log is floating in the river and if you look close you can see a dragonfly on the log underneath the Watersnake.

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

You can find these Northern Diamond-backed Watersnakes basking on logs and even branches hanging over the water at this refuge. If you try to approach one, it will drop into the water and swim away.

Because of its sharp teeth intended to hold slippery fish, I read that the Watersnakes bite is very painful. It usually only resorts to biting if harassed or handled. This defensive conduct is often misinterpreted as aggression, unfortunately, and often leads to its being mistaken for the venomous Cottonmouth.

How I Got The Shot – Northern Diamond-backed Watersnake On Log

While I was driving the auto tour road near the Tuff boat ramp (Sequoyah National Wildlife Refuge), I spotted this snake. Instead of driving straight to the boat ramp, I turned left (west) at the intersection and drove a short distance when I spotted the snake to my left (south). This was at 8:41 in the morning.

My Canon EOS 7D Mark II with a Canon EF 100-400 mm f/4.5-5.6L IS II lens was on a bean bag draped over the open window of my pickup.

Camera Settings

  • AV Mode
  • Back-button Focus
  • Aperture f8
  • ISO 320
  • Shutter speed – 1/800 of a second
  • Auto White Balance
  • Single Point, Continuous Auto Focus
  • Evaluative Metering
  • Focal Length – 400 mm

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