What's That Out There In The Water? by Todd Henson

Northern Watersnake swimming in the water.

It’s a Northern Watersnake! Up till now every Northern Watersnake I’ve photographed has been on land, though most were near water. But I’ve finally photographed a water snake swimming through the water. I watched this one as it dove under the water, resurfacing some distance away. These snakes can move fairly quickly through the water and can be difficult to follow.

Northern Watersnake approaching shore.

I don’t consider either of these photographs particularly great, and neither is in any way artistic. But I’m pleased to have created them for the behavior they document.

There can be many reasons for creating a photograph. In most cases I’m trying to show some aspect of landscape, nature, or wildlife in an artistic, pleasing way. But other times, as in this case, I’m just trying to document a species, to capture any behaviors, or to capture different features of the creatures.

Next time I observe this behavior I hope to create a more pleasing set of photographs. First, capture the moment, document the behavior. Then work to create a better version of the photograph. There is always room for improvement. So keep trying!

Do you have any pleasant memories of when you captured an animal’s behavior? Let me know in the comments below.

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