As a wildlife photographer, I have a deep appreciation for the unique beauty and individuality of every creature I capture through my lens. That’s why I was particularly intrigued by a Rough Green Snake I encountered crossing a road in the Ouachita National Forest in Arkansas.

Rough Green Snake With Dark Spot
Rough Green Snake With Dark Spot

What caught my eye was a dark spot on the side of its head, a feature I had never seen before in a Rough Green Snake. Naturally, I turned to research to see if this was a common occurrence, and I discovered that as these snakes age, their bright green color can fade to a bluish or black color.

The Rough Green Snake has an average lifespan of 5 years in the wild, but can reach up to 8 years. They are not poisonous and are generally docile, allowing me to get up close and capture some truly unique shots.

For this particular snake, I had my trusty Canon EOS 7D Mark II camera and Canon EF 100 – 400 mm f/4.5-5.6L IS II lens at the ready, using a Blackrapid Camera strap for ease of use. I sat on the road and watched as the snake gracefully posed for me, giving me the opportunity to snap several stunning photos.

During the summer, I love taking photo walks on the roads in the Ouachita National Forest, as it offers a rich opportunity to see a variety of wildlife, including many snakes. I was also able to capture another Rough Green Snake at the Sequoyah National Wildlife Refuge in Oklahoma, crossing an asphalt road. Each encounter is a unique and special moment, and I feel incredibly grateful for the chance to capture and preserve these memories through my lens.

Camera Settings

  • AV Mode
  • Aperture f7.1
  • ISO 800
  • Shutter speed – 1/800 of a second
  • Focal Length – 349 mm