I have been possibly pointed in the right direction about my suspicion over the dramatic decline of snakes in our area by Pamela, who is also a member of the Dubuque Camera Club, today. Thank you Pamela! The cause could be snake fungal disease (SFD) and if you are interested to learn more about it, here is a useful link for you: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5095536/ . Oddly enough, Joan found a Garter Snake at the edge of our woods yesterday, the first we saw in a long time. The snake just rested in the grass and gave me plenty of time to get the camera.
So how do we get a good image of a snake lying in the grass? I don’t know! I tried a low angle but din’t like the outcome. There was always a blade of grass that covered part of the head. I finally went for a picture from above, using the coil of the reptile and the soft evening light as my means for the story telling.
In a close-up view of the photo I can see that the skin of the snake is kinda flaky, however, not really visible in this size-reduced image of my blog. I will send a larger file to the people that do research on this disease and will either learn that this Garter Snake is healthy or help to pinpoint the spread of this fungus. This is all very concerning, knowing about what impact the Chytrid Fungus, in particular Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis or “Bd”, has done to amphibians, wiping out more than one third of the world’s frog species. Just reading a lot about it today, the threat to these reptiles seems to be not less…
Nikon D750, Nikon Nikkor AF-S 70-200mm, f/4G ED VR