Northern Water Snake, Mississippi River, Deere Dyke, Dubuque, Iowa ---------    

Wildlife photography was not on the priority list during the last two days. Joan and I had Anthony and Teegan, our twin grandsons, at our house this weekend and that was a lot of fun. Today we went on a walk to the Deere dyke at the Mississippi River. The weather doesn’t get any better than today here in the Upper Mississippi Valley. I debated with myself about taking camera and long lens with me, but the only way not making any pictures is leaving the gear at home or in the car… Sure, the bright light of a Sunday afternoon without any clouds is not a favorite, but for the first time I had a Sora and several Lesser Yellowlegs in front of the lens at this location.

I got very excited while watching the Lesser Yellowlegs, a sandpiper that I have photographed at the Green Island Wetlands before during spring migration. When this Northern Water Snake, resting on a sun flooded log in the shallow backwaters of the Mississippi, lifted its head, my attention shifted immediately. It’s mediocre light but it is the gesture of the critter that makes the difference between a documentary shot and a photo that is worth to be shown.