Long-time followers of this blog may remember a few years ago the first time I had the privilege of shooting with Mason. That first shoot, Mason started out shy and hesitant. That was not the case this time around. The very first thing he said when we picked our locale was, “I want to go get on that log!” And he did.

Mason, 2019

The very second thing he said, upon getting on that log was, “soooooo….. there’s a snake……”

Now, I’m a bird guy. Birds were my focus when I got my bachelor’s in Biology a few years ago, and I’ve picked up some stuff about other animals of course, but I’m just not a herp person. I don’t know a lot about snakes.

I know that Cottonmouths don’t live this far north and west, and I was pretty sure that the only venomous snake in the area is a rattler that likes the desert sort of habitat. But I wasn’t about to bet Mason’s life on “pretty sure”. I asked about the color, reassured him it probably wasn’t dangerous, and suggested he not get any closer. I also floated the idea of abandoning the log.

He was much calmer about the whole thing than I’d have been, I think. Snakes are cool and all, but I’m not really a fan of surprise snakes in the forest. We went ahead with our shoot.

Mason, 2019

A few minutes later, the snake had gone on about its business elsewhere, and not knowing exactly where elsewhere was, we decided it might be best to move our shoot some other elsewhere that might not be so close to the snake’s elsewhere.

Mason, 2019

It was a move of prudence, and I think it was the right call at the time.

Anyway, we took a few shots as we relocated, and this one turned out to be Mason’s favorite.

Mason, 2019

I’m pretty sure this is the first time I’ve had to move a shoot due to snake presence, and I hope it’s the last, but it’s a hazard of the job, I suppose. With Mason getting bolder with each shoot, I’m not sure my heart will be able to take what comes next time!

Prolly lions or tigers or space aliens or something. 🙂

I really hope it’s not more bears.