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Stay put

I was at one of my favorite places at one of my favorite times, which is thirty minutes before sunrise. This particular Saturday morning was no different. I was set-up to photograph the sunrise right at the water’s edge at Old Bison Ranch. It is summer time that means snakes are out and about, so I need to keep a watchful eye out for them. It’s always a privilege to see them on their morning hunts. Before sunrise it is all about being prepared for the sunrise and the drama that may or may not happen with the clouds. The birds are waking up at this time and several are flying about. Once the sun is up and shining, that golden light is everywhere and I get antsy. It is time to switch from landscape photographer to wildlife photographer. But this morning I felt my gut telling me to “stay put” so I did. Nothing was happening, no birds were moving around or coming in to hunt along the shoreline. I started to move, then my gut told me to “stay put”, OK, I sat there for a little longer. But not long after that I moved my tripod just a little bit, then heard something at the water’s edge. Yep, it was a Yellow-bellied water snake right at the base of my tripod, too close for my telephoto lens and too close to move my tripod, so I whip out my handy iPhone to take a video of the little guy. Then he struck my tripod leg … and that was so cool. I watched him for several minutes before he moved away.

When I am out there in the morning setting up for the sunrise I am always talking and asking questions of God. This morning the Lord was just telling me to “stay put” and a little treasure of nature came to me.

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