My First Timber Rattlesnake

I came upon this Timber Rattlesnake while walking a road near the Ouachita National Forest here in Arkansas back in April of 2015. This was my first time seeing one of these.

As soon as it saw me it coiled in the middle of the road and I was able to get several photos.

This one wasn't very large. I would guess it would be approximately 3 feet long. Adults usually grow to a total length of 36 to 60 inches.

Generally, this species is found in deciduous forests in rugged terrain. During the summer, gravid (pregnant) females seem to prefer open, rocky ledges where the temperatures are higher, while males and nongravid females tend to spend more time in cooler, denser woodland with more closed forest canopy.

Female timber rattlers often bask in the sun before giving birth, in open rocky areas known as "basking knolls".

During the winter, timber rattlesnakes brumate in dens, in limestone crevices, often together with copperheads and black rat snakes.

Potentially, this is one of North America's most dangerous snakes, due to its long fangs, impressive size, and high venom yield.(Source: Wikipedia)

Timber Rattlesnake - Ouachita Mountains - Arkansas

Timber Rattlesnake - Ouachita Mountains - Arkansas

Rattles of a Timber Rattlesnake

Rattles of a Timber Rattlesnake

How I Got The Shot - Timber Rattlesnake

I walk several of the roads in the Ouachita National Forest looking for snakes that like to cross these roads. I was hoping to find one of these Timber Rattlesnakes and I got lucky when I came across this one. I was also lucky that this one decided to coil instead of crawling into the brush.

I was sitting in the road, hand holding my Canon EOS 7D Mark II with the Canon EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS II lens. I was shooting in aperture priority mode (AV) with a shutter speed of 1/500 of a second at f5.6 and the ISO at 1250. White Balance was set on auto. I was using single point, continuous autofocus with evaluative metering.

Lizards Are Active Here In The Ouachitas

I start seeing and photographing Lizards here in the Ouachitas of Arkansas in March. I have seen some in February if it warms up enough for them to come out of hibernation. I have a wooden deck that they like to sun on and I have to be careful to not step on them.

The Prairie Lizard and the Green Anole are the most common Lizards I see here in my area. They are both easy to photograph because they let you get close.

Prairie Lizard - Arkansas

Prairie Lizard - Arkansas

How I Got The Shot - Prairie Lizard

I was hand holding my Canon EOS 7D Mark II with the Canon EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS II lens. I was shooting in aperture priority mode (AV) with a shutter speed of 1/1000 of a second at f7.1 and the ISO at 800. White Balance was set on auto. I was using single point, continuous autofocus with evaluative metering.

I read something interesting in reference to Prairie Lizards (Eastern Fence Lizard) and Fire Ants:

Within the past 70 years, according to a study published in 2009, eastern fence lizards in parts of their range have adapted to have longer legs and new behaviors to escape the red imported fire ant, which can kill the lizard in under a minute. Red imported fire ants threaten eastern fence lizards because they occupy their microhabitats causing mortality or relocation. Moreover, according to a study published in 2016, artificial eastern fence lizard nests were shown to be vulnerable to predation by red imported fire ants, resulting in nonviability of the eggs. (Wikipedia)

Bullfrog In A Stream

I photographed this Bullfrog in a stream that flows out of a pond. The pond is my neighbors but the stream flows across my property here in the Ouachita Mountains.

I can see the pond from my deck and in the evenings I can hear the Bullfrogs. This Spring it sounds like hundreds of them.

You will also notice that the water in the stream has a rust color. I read that oxidation of mineral deposits cause the oxygen to be depleted. In the absence of dissolved oxygen, the solubility of iron in water usually increases. Since iron is one of the most common elements on the earth it is usually present in the groundwater system.

The oxygen in the air oxidizes the iron in the water from the ferrous (+2) state to the ferric (+3) state where it is insoluble. The insoluble iron minerals are rust colored.

Bullfrog - Arkansas

Bullfrog - Arkansas

How I Got The Shot - Bullfrog

I was hand holding my Canon EOS 7D Mark II with the Canon EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS II lens. I was shooting in aperture priority mode (AV) with a shutter speed of 1/1250 of a second at f7.1 and the ISO at 800. White Balance was set on auto. I was using single point, continuous autofocus with evaluative metering.

Green Anole On A Warm February Day

I photographed this Green Anole back in February of 2016 on a warm day. We have had some warm days these past few weeks and I have seen a Fence Lizard but not a Green Anole. Once the temperature gets up to 70 degrees they should start appearing.

Green Anole - Arkansas

Green Anole - Arkansas

I have a cabin that borders the Ouachita National Forest here in Arkansas and I have lots of Lizards on my place. The Green Anoles are fun to photograph and will let you get close to them.

The Green Anole in my photo is brown but it can change to a bright green color. The Anole changes its color depending on mood, level of stress, activity level and as a social signal. The typical coloration ranges from the richest and brightest of greens to the darkest of browns, with little variation between.

I like having them around my cabin, not only to photograph but to eat the flies. They will eat crickets, grasshoppers, spiders, and flies.

How I Got The Shot - Green Anole

I found this Anole by walking around my property with my Canon EOS 7D Mark II camera with the Canon EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS II lens. I was shooting without a tripod. I was shooting in aperture priority mode  (AV) with a shutter speed of 1/500 of a second at f6.3 and the ISO at 500. White Balance was set on auto. I was using single point, continuous  autofocus with evaluative metering.