A male grass-snake / buorm restlessly searching the terrain to find a receptacle female
Oslo, April 14th 2021. Nikon 200-400 4,0 /350 mm, f/9,0, 1/800, ISO 900
As some of you already may know : I have a big heart for snakes, and the reason for this is complex :
1) Snakes have a very interesting biology, 2) Snakes live a hidden and very secretive life, 3) Snakes are beautiful animals, 3) Many people have irrational fear for snakes and human cultures & religions around the world have given snake supernatural traits and finally 4) : Some snakes are dangerous and claim a lot of respect.
In cold Norway we have been soberly blessed with only 3 species of snakes : Adder / Huggorm (Vipera berus), Grass-snake / Buorm (Natrix natrix natrix) and Smooth-snake / Slettsnok (Coronella austraica), the first one to go longest north and to highest altitude, the two latter ones restricted to warmer coastal areas in southern Norway.
I find it difficult to do good snake photography, snakes are in principle just "a line with a frozen face in one end". No mimics, no visible expression of feelings or emotions and relatively little action. So how do you make good snake photography ? How do you add the little extra ? I don't honestly know, and if I`d known I would have done it all the time. However I try very had to accomplish something that I cannot define myself !
This is a compilation of local snakes pictures from 2021 season. I have skipped the basic ones that you, in principle, have seen many times before, and tried to pick "the special ones". I can only hope that you`ll like them !
I hope that all "my snakes" out there will make it through the winter and that we will meet again next spring.
Thanks to biologist Pål Sørensen who is doing scientific research on all 3 Norwegian species. I have been lucky to assist him in the field through the season and this is something I appreciate a lot. Also thanks to Thor Håkonsen & Are Hogner for inspiration & great company.
He can smell the female, but cannot find her. Male grass-snake / buorm in dry spring leaves.
Grass-snakes mating. Many smaller males compete to mate with the bigger female.
Frogn, April 16th 2021. Nikon 200-400 4,0 / 400 mm, f/9,0, 1/640, ISO 1400
Grass-snakes mating. Many males coil around the receptacle female.
Frogn, April 16th 2021. Nikon 200-400 4,0 / 400 mm, f/8,0, 1/1000, ISO 800
A huge female grass-snake measuring 1,24 m. Biggest I've ever seen so far.
Larvik, April 21st 2021. Sigma 180 2,8 macro, f/7,1, 1/640, ISO 1400
Female grass-snake, a local "Anaconda"
Larvik, April 21st 2021. Sigma 180 2,8 macro, f/7,1, 1/1000, ISO 2000
Deep down in the misty, green "Underworld of the Unexpected" lies ... a grass-snake
A grass-snake winding through a meadow of Yellow Stonecrop (Sedum acre)
A female adder ... posing in an central perspective angle
Frogn, June 16th 2021. Sigma 180 2,8 macro, f/13,0, 1/400, ISO 2000
A female black adder with a blue-ish colour shine
Vestby, June 7th 2021. Sigma 180 2,8 macro, f/5,6, 1/1000, ISO 1800
The "blue" female black adder
Vestby, June 7th 2021. Sigma 180 2,8 macro, f/9,0, 1/1250, ISO 2500
The "blue" female adder with coastal midsummer flower colours
Vestby, June 7th 2021. Sigma 180 2,8 macro, f/10,0, 1/1250, ISO 4500
A female adder`s venom fangs
Frogn, May 27th 2021. Sigma 180 2,8 macro, f/16,0, 1/1250, ISO 1800
Thick leader gloves is recommended when handling adders
Frogn, May 27th 2021. Sigma 180 2,8 macro, f/8,0, 1/1250, ISO 640
Smooth-snakes / slettsnok have their name from their scales beeing non-keeled. They are basically hard to shoot, not only because they are rare in Norway, but also because they live a hidden & secretive life and mostly keep their head down to the ground (which doesn't`t make good pictures)
Larvik, April 21st 2021. Sigma 180 2,8 macro, f/7,1, 1/800, ISO 720
Hurum, July 30th 2021. Sigma 180 2,8 macro, f/6,3, 1/800, ISO 2200
This smooth-snake looks massive, but measures only 70 cm and weighs only 110 grams
Hurum, July 30th 2021. Sigma 180 2,8 macro, f/14,0, 1/160, ISO 2000