A graceful tree snake descending through branches of a a low tree in Black Bayou NWR, Louisiana.

Opheodrys aestivus, scanning spider webs for prey in prime bottomland forest habitat at Black Bayou National Wildlife Refuge in Monroe Louisiana. This Rough Green Snake photographed on Panasonic Lumix GX8 with Lumix G 100-300mm zoom mid-afternoon beside the excellent boardwalk. Image developed from RAW in Silkypix with light sharpening and at vivid setting. K.Paxton photo and copyright, 2017.

Very graceful treesnake among vines, Rough Green Snake

Graceful hunter of crickets and spiders, this nonvenemous, diurnal, snake would have been impossible to notice had it been still, among green vines. With all the vegetation around and such a slender subject, manual focus is the best bet. Taken on Sigma SD1 with Sigma 70-300mm zoom 1/8 second at F22 supported on a tripod. C.Paxton photo and copyright 2017.

Black Bayou National Wildlife Refuge in Monroe Louisiana has an excellent boardwalk that runs through an arboretum of native bottomland forest. A few hours spent here can provide wonderful wildlife encounters for people of all ages and a range of physical abilities as it is easy access.

Each time we go, we see interesting things and the immersion in nature is wonderfully refreshing to the spirit!

Wildlife watching tips:

In a small group you can see more things because you have more observers on the lookout for wildlife.

Green snake gaping on slender branch

“Get out of here!” This harmless gape is a clear message that I’d got too close for its comfort. I promptly retreated. Panasonic Lumix DMC GX8 with 100-300mm zoom. Developed in Serif Photoplus 7 with blacks and mid-tones pushed to the right in levels filter to retore natural tones. C. Paxton photo and copyright.

Walk quietly, with eyes and ears alert for activity and scan around you regularly for creatures that are still.

Try not to take too much stuff with you, but do consider taking a tripod because you’ll need stability for slow shutter shots like the one on the left. We tend to use medium telephotos most, but I always take full kit.