Adult Copperhead Coiled Up, Shenandoah National Park

I've been making day trips here and there since my last post, but have largely been unsuccessful at photographing anything well lately. That all changed yesterday with a day long trip to Shenandoah National Park. Alarm set to 1:50 AM, I made the drive to the southern portion of Skyline Drive, walking out in complete darkness to what I consider the most scenic overlook in the park, Blackrock Summit. The cool mountain air and dawn colors were just what I needed to snap me out of my photographic funk. After photographing the sunrise, I continued exploring the park. During the course of the day, perhaps my most eventful of any Shenandoah trip yet, I ended up photographing grand mountain landscapes, White-tailed Deer fawns, birds, a Black Bear (in horrible, harsh light - but an awesome experience regardless), and this mean-looking little guy, a Copperhead. Found under a rock, this was my first real attempt at photographing a copperhead, and only my second time seeing one in the wild. While venomous and accompanied with a bad reputation, I find copperheads to be one of the most beautiful snakes. If you simply keep a safe distance, copperheads will not strike unless provoked. After ending the day with a beautiful sunset, I traveled back home for some well needed sleep after 22 hours of being awake. Many people don't realize the hours of dedication required from a nature photographer - certainly more than most people with "normal" careers. However, we can sure have a lot of fun putting in all those hours!

Adult Copperhead Coiled Up, Shenandoah National Park, Virginia, United States.