Wednesday, April 28, 2010

(Day 118) The stalker

First off I can happily report that our brief winter interlude disappeared as quickly as hockey fans after an overtime loss. The sun appeared, the temperature climbed up to 13C (55F), and the universe continued unfolding as it should. The grass also reappeared as the mantle of snow vanished and it was obvious it needed to be cut.

As I trimmed the edges of the lawn around the flower beds by the pond, a sudden movement caught my eye. It was ... the stalker! It slithered stealthily along, using a rock to hid its presence from its intended lunch. It would pause long enough for me to get a few shots and then moved on, searching. This continued for some 10 minutes, when it disappeared under a rock by the edge of the pond. In a flash I saw it dive into the pond and grab a frog by the leg! The frog attempted a getaway by diving but the stalker hung on, writhing down to the bottom into the water plants. I could no longer see the drama and I waited about 15 minutes before I resumed cutting the grass. One can only imagine the outcome.

(70-200mm  f11  1/125 sec  ISO200)

22 comments:

Photog Ave said...

Awesome shot!!!

['รด ] Avery

M. Hassan said...

Awesome, but I'm freaking right now. I'm not sure I can live with the idea that a snake is in my backyard or close to my home and not getting rid of it.

To be sincere, snakes are very beautiful creatures, but I'm scared of them.

Great focus.. Prachtig foto vriend!

Katherine said...

Oh dear! Not one of our little froggy friends from one of your earlier pictures I hope.
Shiver!! I too am not very fond of snakes .. but like all creatures of this earth they hold their place in the chain of life!
Great photo Rick...it was very kind of him to take the time to pose for you & look down the lense! Shiver Again!!

The Lucy and Dick Show said...

Good photo! I would have never taken it. Not afraid of snakes, but not going to get that close either!

Kerri said...

What an amazing image! LOVE it! Sorry about the little froggie though :(

Rick said...

@Photog Ave - thank you Avery!

@M - dank u wel! They do have a bit of a sinister look to them, however, we'd be overrun by frogs and mice if it weren't for the snakes.

Rick said...

@Katherine - it didn't look like one of our 'friends' from the other day that became lunch. Ha ha - I think he checked me out while I took his photo and then decided maybe I wouldn't taste as good as a frog :)

@The Lucy and Dick Show - thank you. I tried to stay very still so he wouldn't have a reason to lunge at me :)

Rick said...

@Kerri - thank you. It's a snake-eat-frog world out there! :)

Scott said...

Awesome shot Rick. I'm NOT a big fan of snakes, until I know that they are safe, them I'm okay with them. Thanks for your support while I was away. It's nice to get back and see what you are up to. Great job.

Rick said...

@Scott - thanks. I'm not a big fan either, but I couldn't pass up this opportunity (it was like being back in science class!). You're welcome too - look forward to your photos.

darlin said...

Wonderful shot Rick... poor frog though!

Rick said...

@darlin - thanks. Maybe he got away (?)

Karen said...

WOW, I'm really impressed Rick.... and now I know how serious of a photographer you are! Imagine trimming your lawn with one hand, and being ready for a potential photo op with a camera in the other hand! HaHa If I'd come across a snake, I'm positive photography would not even cross my mind!! Great image!

Chad said...

I have lots of harmless snakes on my property. The other day a neighbor boy was trying to capture a snake while his mother was freeking out. He was just as scared as his mother (he is 21),but was having trouble rounding it up. My daughter seeing the problem they were having walked over and just picked it up. I think he felt kind of silly. Anyway I like the photo.

Krista said...

Oh wow! He is SO cute!

You are a fantastic story teller... I was on the edge of my seat reading about the frog. Poor frog but... snake has to eat too! :o)

I really love the depth of field you chose here, it's interesting how the snake's head is really the only thing in sharp focus.

Do you know what kind of snake he is?

Rick said...

@Karen - LOL! Thank you. Actually I ran into the house to get the camera and 'snakey' waited (likely for the frog, not me).

Rick said...

@Chad - thank you. This guy's pretty harmless too (except for frogs and mice). Great story about your daughter :)

Rick said...

@Krista - thanks *blush*. I tried to get the "frog's eye view" of the snake (I'd be a little freaked if I was the frog). It's a garter snake - good to have around else we'd be overrun.

Kyria said...

Wow, that is a great shot! How did you get such a great shot!?? It's like you are right there next to the snake!

Rick said...

@Kyria - thank you. Actually I put the camera down in front of him almost at his level, crouched down so I could see through the lens, and took the shot.

Lisa (Mountain Photog) said...

Nice capture of the snake. And goodness, you don't get to witness drama in nature like that every day! Snakes have to eat, too.

Rick said...

@Lisa - I 'stalked' him as he stalked frogs, and we both 'caught' something :)