Portraits of Wildflowers

Perspectives on Nature Photography

Posts Tagged ‘reptile

Almost camouflaged

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On June 16th we walked a portion of the main trail in Great Hills Park. If this Texas spiny lizard (Sceloporus olivaceus) had kept its head down and in line with the rest of its scaly body it would have blended into the rough bark of the tree it was on and we might have walked right past it. Instead, its sunlit head extended beyond the tree’s profile and contrasted with the darker background, allowing me to notice it and take a picture with my iPhone. As soon as I moved a little closer, the lizard scampered away.

© 2020

Written by Steve Schwartzman

June 26, 2020 at 4:46 AM

Posted in nature photography

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My first alligator

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The first time I ever saw an American alligator (Alligator mississippiensis) in the wild was on October 6th in the Brazoria National Wildlife Refuge. Here’s the rap sheet approach again, with front and side views.

© 2019 Steven Schwartzman

 

Written by Steve Schwartzman

November 8, 2019 at 4:46 AM

Estuarium

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Before stopping at Bayside Park on August 10 we’d visited the Estuarium on Dauphin Island. The cleverly named Estuarium, on the model of aquarium, highlights the ecosystems in the Mobile Bay estuary. Most prominent among its exhibits are those dealing with animals, many of which are living. Take, for example, this diamondback terrapin turtle, Malaclemys terrapin pileata.

Photo talk: even at ISO 1600 the low light forced my macro lens to open up to its maximum aperture of f/2.8, so I focused on the turtle’s eye in order to get the most important feature sharp, knowing that only a small nearby area would likewise come into focus. For this picture I also composed at an unusual angle. In fact the turtle was positioned horizontally, but as I’ve asked before: what’s reality, anyway?

© 2019 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

September 11, 2019 at 4:51 AM

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And a lizard

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Click to enlarge.

Here’s a lizard I found at Kasha-Katuwe Tent Rocks National Monument in northern New Mexico on June 12th. Thanks to Pat Maher and Scott Bulgrin of the New Mexico Herpetological Society for identifying this as an eastern collared lizard, Crotaphytus collaris. You can read more about collared lizards at Wild Herps. You can get a much closer view of this one by clicking to enlarge the thumbnail below.

© 2017 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

August 19, 2017 at 4:38 AM

A striking snake, or one that might become so

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At the Agate Fossil Beds National Monument in Nebraska on May 29th Eve heard a sound and then saw, menacingly close, a rattlesnake at the edge of the path we were walking on. After taking pictures of it, including this one that clearly shows the upraised rattle, I phoned the visitor center and had the staff warn people who were headed out along the same path.

From what I can tell after reading Venomous Snakes and Snakebite in Nebraska, this appears to have been a prairie rattlesnake, Crotalus viridis.

© 2017 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

July 14, 2017 at 5:02 AM

Chuckwalla

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chuckwallah-1818

Like me, you probably didn’t know that there’s a lizard called a chuckwalla (Sauromalus spp.). This picture from the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum on November 7th of last year shows that there is.

© 2017 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

February 2, 2017 at 4:56 AM

What is it?

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Texas Spiny Lizard on Pecan Tree 1281

On April 15th I walked past a pecan tree at McKinney Falls State Park in southeast Austin and noticed a broken branch. Then I saw more.

Oh, do not ask, “What is it?”
Guess; then click to make your visit.

© 2016 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

May 6, 2016 at 5:03 AM

Intrepid me

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Rattlesnake 0477A

Intrepid me, following a rattlesnake (Crotalus spp.) at the Doeskin Ranch in Burnet County on April 8. After I lived up to my reputation as a photographer by starting to take pictures, the snake lived up to its name by starting to rattle. Soon it moved off into the brush where I couldn’t take any more photographs of it, so the brief encounter ended in a draw: the rattlesnake didn’t bite me and I didn’t bite it.

© 2016 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

April 28, 2016 at 5:01 AM

A different kind of camouflage

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Snapping Turtle at Creek Edge 8381

You recently saw — or initially didn’t see — a caterpillar well camouflaged on a Maximilian sunflower. Here a much larger animal, a snapping turtle (Chelydra serpentina) that I estimate was a good foot-and-a-half long (45 cm), was trying to remain hidden at the edge of a tributary of Bull Creek in Great Hills Park on October 27. The large woody vine across the upper part of the photograph is a mustang grape (Vitis mustangensis). The tangles of reddish-brown roots are from a black willow tree (Salix nigra).

If you’d like a much closer view of the turtle’s head, you can click the following thumbnail.

Snapping Turtle's Head 8380

The site of today’s photographs was no more than 30 feet from the culvert you saw in yesterday’s abstractly shadowed picture, which I took two days later.

© 2015 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

November 9, 2015 at 4:51 AM

Ribbon snake

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Ribbon Snake 7443

During a field trip to the Shield Ranch on October 18th I photographed this ribbon snake (seemingly Thamnophis proximus rubrilineatus). In case you’re wondering, this slender snake did let me get as close with my 100mm macro lens as it looks like I was, perhaps because I lay on the ground and therefore didn’t seem too threatening. That seems like a good assumption, because as soon as I stood back up to try to get a better view of the colorful ribbon on the top of the snake, it slithered away.

© 2015 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

October 31, 2015 at 5:08 AM

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