I was driving the asphalt section of the auto tour road at the Sequoyah National Wildlife Refuge in Oklahoma when I came upon a Water Moccasin (Cottonmouth). As soon as it saw my pickup it stopped and raised its head. I exited my pickup and took a few photos before it finally went on its way.

Water Moccasin On Asphalt Road
Water Moccasin On Asphalt Road

The Water Moccasin is the only semi-aquatic viper in the world, generally found in or near water, especially in slow-moving lakes, rivers, and marshes.

The Sequoyah National Wildlife Refuge is where the Arkansas and Canadian Rivers meet. This refuge has lots of water and these snakes are abundant. I see them crossing the roads often to get from one pool of water to another. They can also be seen warming themselves on this road.

How I Got The Shot – Water Moccasin Crossing Asphalt Road

As soon as I spotted this snake I stopped my pickup and exited with my camera and beanbag. I rested my Fujifilm X-T3 camera with a Canon EF 100-400 mm f/4.5-5.6L IS II lens attached with a Fringer EF-FX Pro on the bag. (The beanbag supports and protects my camera and lens.)

After getting a couple of photos I would move closer to the snake. I continued to do this until I got the closeup I wanted. After photographing this snake I went back to my pickup and waited for the snake to safely leave the road.

Camera Settings

  • AV Mode
  • Back-button Focus
  • Auto White Balance
  • Multi Metering
  • Single Point, Continuous Auto Focus
  • Aperture f7.1
  • ISO 1000
  • Shutter speed 1/420 of a second
  • 0.3 exposure value
  • Focal Length 400 mm

Post-processing was with Luminar 3

Here are a few more photos I took of snakes on asphalt:

  1. Copperhead Crossing Asphalt Road
  2. Rough Green Snake Crossing Asphalt Road
  3. Western Ratsnake Smiling