Years ago, I was a Staff Writer for the newspaper at the Air Force base I was assigned to. One of the first jobs I was given was to do a story on the Dive School at the base. To illustrate the article, I wanted a photo which showed what they did.
So told one of the instructors to get in the training pool with his gear on and to swim around. I shot a number of photos looking into the pool and through the viewfinder, but wasn't pleased with what I saw. So I borrowed a dive mask from one of the other instructors, put it in the water, had the instructor in pool start from the bottom and swim up towards me. Using the glass front of the mask as a window, I got on my belly and put the camera on the glass plate and began shooting. One of those photos was used to illustrate the article.
It was the first time I photographed something underwater...but not the last time.
While walking the edge of Fireman's Pond in Redmond, Oregon several years ago, I was surprised to see this huge tadpole sunning itself in a rocky area. I had never seen a tadpole this large. This big boy was at least seven inches long.
Then last year, family from Illinois came to Oregon for a visit. One of the places I took them was to Cline Falls State Park along the Deschutes River west of Redmond. While others were off checking something elsewhere in the park, I was sitting with my aunt and cousin telling them of some of the geology of the area. My aunt suddenly got a puzzled look on her face and asked what something in the water was.
We were a good 30 feet from the river, on a slight rise and had a good view of the shallow shoreline. I looked towards the river and found I was unsure what I was looking at. At first I thought it was a rock in the river. However, I could see it was moving at a slow pace. I walked to the edge and there I found the largest crayfish I have ever seen.
This big guy was at least eight inches in length.
Well, both critters above were under the water when I took their photo. However, the critter below was seen and photographed at the Mitchell Lake Audubon Center south of San Antonio, Texas several years ago.
I was walking along the shore of Bird Pond and would stop once in a while to check trees and bushes near me. When I stopped at one spot, I was scanning the weeds at the shoreline when I caught out of the corner of my eye, something moving between my legs. Looking down, I immediately thought, "Water Moccasin!" and then watched as the creature slithered down into the water in front of me. I quickly fired off a couple of shots and then got this image as it turned and moved parallel to shoreline.
When I got back to the lake headquarters, I showed one of the volunteers the image in the small LCD screen on the back of my camera and he said he couldn't be sure, but thought I might be correct. However, once I returned home and had time to research the snake, I found out it was actually a harmless Diamondback Water Snake.
Although he wasn't under the water, he was in it. Overall, this guy was probably a little more than three feet long.
I hope you enjoyed my post this week. If you would like to see more Camera Critters, just drop by the website here run by Misty Dawn and then join in the fun with an entry of your own.