Friday, June 26, 2009

June 20th- Ringneck Fever

Last weekend, I was all ready to blog FU Mother Nature.

June has sucked ass weather-wise. Very little sun and tons of rain. We hadn't been herping in 2 weeks. This Saturday looked like another crapfest.

We went out to do some errands and had lunch and thought... hey- it's not raining right now and it's in the 70s... let's just go to Ponk and maybe see some frogs or something. 100_3613
At least we'd get some exercise.

We walked along the path towards the dam and were surprised by the lack of Salamanders. I guess the have retreated for the summer. We got to the dam and there was an intrepid water snake sunning, despite the non-sunniness of the day.

A little further down the dam, there were 2 spotted turtles basking!
I'd never had two in my line of vision before ever, so this was exhilarating. A third, smaller one was hiding on some growth a little further on, with a painted lurking behind him.

We saw another water snake basking and I was lucky enough to grab him for photos. This poor guy had escaped a serious predator recently. He had a horrible slash (from a bird of prey or snapper?) on his side that was almost healed... but not quite. The darling lil' fella didn't musk or bite.

We decided, despite being tired, to go the length and headed all the way around. Birds kept us company.

We got to our favorite stone wall and were greeted by tons of ringnecks. Every stone had one under it. A camper showed us a clump of leaves that supposedly had a "snake nest" in it. I opened it a bit and sure enough... there were about 7 ringnecks in it! Snake catching was never so easy!

Now, most of these ringnecks (including one gravid female) had horrible scars and some fresher cuts on them. We thought about our water snake friend and wondered who has been munching on the snakes. Then it dawned on us... people have been sitting on the stone wall.

Hey- fatso! Don't sit your fat ass on stone walls! There may be young snakes getting squished under your heaving bulk! Fat bastard.

Of the dozens of ringnecks we saw, 3/4 of them had scars or wounds.

Another flat rock produced 2 clean ringnecks and a feisty young garter who musked Andrea pretty badly.
We wanted to wash off in the pond, but a large snapper was playfully biting at a leaf nearby. We eventually got most of the stink off.

So, a day that we had written off as shit produced more snakes than we could count! A well spent 4 hours and it never did rain!

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