Sunday, October 4, 2009

My milksnake brings all the boys to the yard- Sept 20th

OK... I spent over an hour yesterday writing up this eventful day, then erased it accidentally when I was 3/4 done. I've finally calmed down enough to start again.

It was getting late into September and we were going to have a nice day in the mid-Seventies. We decided that all was forgiven at Boyden Refuge in Taunton and headed out there. It just felt right. We got a fairly late start (after noon).

Heading into the fragrance garden, we decided to ignore the usual waspage and flip some rocks. It wasn't yet 70 degrees and the rocks were warm. I saw some gray and rust coils peeking out from under a rock and called Andrea over to catch her first ever Eastern Milk Snake. I lifted the rock and she snatched a real beauty!

She became hypnotized by it...

While she was under the spell of the Milk Snake, I befriended a Daddy Long Legs.

Further on, Andrea saw a fat and lovely American Toad burrowing into some dead leaves...'

She wondered what he'd look like if he was on a ski-lift...

The bunk-beds were still without snakes but Painted Turtles were enjoying the almost-autumn rays.

We like this shot...

A Pickerel Frog decided to get his picture taken as well...

I must say that Boyden was filthy with Red-Backs! Most logs yeilded 2 or more of these cute lil' salamanders.

This normal-phase one was sharing space with a leadback phase (thanks to Gabe Montague for the ID)

A rotted 2X4 had at least a dozen under it. You can see 7 in this pic; some are in the wood.

Under a pile of discarded roof tiles, there was a nice young Garter Snake resting. He went into Andrea's pocket and relaxed before we released him.

OK... this is around where I lost the post yesterday... see why I was so pissed?!

In the Appliance Graveyard, we flipped an old dryer and this American Toad was nestled in...

Under some old carpet, we found this guy...

Putting him back and commenting on how there was so much snake food but no snakes, we saw some beautiful coils barely hiding under the same carpet.

This Eastern Milk is one of the most beautiful animals that I have ever seen in the wild. His base color was speckled with an almost caramel color, with bright burnt sienna saddles...
His disposition was great as he let us handle him.

He even took a tour of Andrea's purse!
(He did lightly nip her once when she removed him...)

He crawled across my glasses, over my head and into a tree.

This is a genuine happy-smile on my face...

I took him down and put him back under the carpet... he is probably my favorite snake of the year. If I saw him at a Reptile show, I'd buy him. Beautiful and sweet.

Next up was a first for us at Boyden... a Ringneck!
I never tire of the "fistful of ringneck" pictures.

It should be mentioned that both Andrea and I had see Garters on the move that we were unable to catch... mine had a meal-bulge so it's just as well.

Was this the Boyden of old? Fuck yeah!

We started out and decided, since it was cooling off and after 5PM, to check the Fragrance Garden again. After all, the rocks would still be warm. They sure were! Yay to Andrea for this suggestion!

We found a young Garter Snake who musked me but good. First real musk of the day. Man, what an asshole! He was cute though...

Andrea's pal was still there, so she recaught him just to say goodbye...

Then, just to cap it off, I flipped a rock in a partially hidden wall and nabbed our third Eastern Milk of the day!!

What a great day! I'm glad that we lifted our Boyden ban. 8 snakes, 6 catches and more redbacks than you can shake a rotted 2X4 at! Success with no suck.

1 comment:

  1. What a great day of herping! Good photography too, you guys, thanks for sharing these.