Shoot The Moon.

Lately, my Bald Eagles sightings have been at a record high number! However, my Snake sightings have been at an all time low. With that said, I’ll start my story from this most recent adventure:

I took my friend Ollie, and my lady on a hike to an eagles nest, in which I have been visiting for quite some time now. This particular nest housed a Mom, Dad, and three babies. I have been watching the babies grow pretty rapidly over the last couple of months, so I wanted to keep checking in on them and continue to watch their developments toward adulthood.

When we got to the location, we all noticed and mentioned how beautiful of a day it was.  There was clear skies, a light breeze, and it was about 70 degrees. I couldn’t help realizing that it was perfect temperatures for snakes to be out trying to catch some sun rays. We got about 2 minutes into the hike and I started to talk about snakes…about 2 seconds later, My lady (Melissa) almost steps on one! She jumped a few feet off the ground and yelled: SNAKE! Both Ollie and myself were excited now! I took a few steps closer to this dull colored orange beauty to notice It was a Red Rat Snake. Lucky for Melissa, It’s non-venomous. I got as close as i can pretty much get without touching it, but no movements.. So Ollie decided to give it a pat on the head to see if it’s alive, and sure enough, it awoke. Seconds later, I move to the side of it to capture a photo that would not have a bright glare from the sun, but it did not like that at all! The snake raised its head, coiled up, and took a strike at me! I didn’t know the snakes striking distance, but I will say, this Red Rat Snake was at least 3 feet in length, and I was only about a foot in front of it. At that point, we all backed up and gave the snakes it’s space. It slithered off next to a little creek and into hiding.moon rat snake

So after the snake excitement, It was time to get on with our hike, and on to the Bald Eagles nest. When we reached the nest, I noticed there was nothing in it. No adults, No juveniles, nothing! I was a little concerned at that point. We ended up stumbling across my friend Josh (who originally showed me this location), and he mentioned that the juveniles were flying around. Sure enough, we see one, then another, and finally the third! They are much larger than even my last visit from a couple weeks prior. They are really growing into themselves! We sit and watch as they soar around, flying from tree to tree, and at times circling their own nest.

As I mentioned earlier in this story, It was a beautiful day, but I forgot to mention the great view of the moon. At that point, I had one shot in my mind: A young Bald Eagle, and the Moon. I waited and waited for the right opportunity, and then it happened! DSC_6165 (3).NEF

I got the shot I wanted!

It has been such a pleasure watching these beautiful creatures grow up, and I plan to continue doing so.

Get outside and enjoy!


-Mark M.


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