Wednesday, October 21, 2009

October 10th- 2009 is coming to an end...

OK, the weather reports said sunny and 65 degrees again. We're not stupid. This is good enough for us to try and see some herps! The calendar is running out; we've gotta grab our chances when they come!

Naturally, Ponk was our destination.

The walk to the dam was very cool... it felt like it was in the Fifties so we resigned ourselves to no reptiles; maybe just a few 'phibs. But the first 1/4 of the trek produced nuthin', except for a lively display of mushroom beauty.

Along the dam, some Pickerel frogs started hopping around.

The day wasn't quite as sunny as we'd thought it would be. It was downright cloudy! (There is a heron in flight on the horizon in this shot...)

Well, nobody ever said that reptiles were smart; there were a few intrepid chelonian warriors out trying to find some semblance of sun among the gray clouds... here's a couple of young (roughly 4" shells) painted turtles!

Funnier still was the black, rubbery thing stuck in the top of a bush not 3 feet above the turtles. Nope, not a fan belt... it was the acrobatic water snake, desperately trying to believe it was summer!
This fella was getting blown around in the cool breeze and definitely gets the "wearing flip-flops in winter" award.

Happy with our October squamate, we continued around the pond and were rewarded with some beautiful redbacks...

and this bruiser

Shrooms were still poppin' out everywhere!

We got to a favorite rock flippin' place and Andrea grabbed a young ringneck, who was coiled up tight.

I flipped and found a frosty Milk Snake:

Andrea was holding the milk and it crawled into her sleeve, content enough to stay for the winter, or at least 10 minutes while we watched the ringneck come out of his rock-nest again...

I tried to lead him back in, but he wouldn't go and went right on to the path for a cool afternoon crawl.

He got perilously close to the pond, which had icy, choppy waves hitting the nearby rocks, but he disappeared under a log, hopefully to stay warm for the winter.

I don't know if we'll get a chance to herp anymore this year but I'm grateful for the chance we got on October 10th.


  1. Beautiful pics! Those Eastern Milks remind me of the Corn Snakes we have here in south Florida (I had a pair for years). Same color pattern, it seems. -- Mykal

  2. They do have a similar color pattern to Corn Snakes. Many times they get to be more of a reddish color, though.

    Herping in Florida can be tough - so many more things you don't want to pick up! We only have Timber Rattlesnakes and Copperheads up here, and both are very rarely seen. I've never actually seen either, but have seen photos that others have taken.

  3. Yeah, the corns I had were classic Carolina Corns. Very dark reddish and beautiful. The few times I have gone herping around here, I wore calf-high thick leather boots. I've seen my share of Pygmies and Coral Snakes and practically peed myself each time. An acquaintance of mine lost part of his thumb when trying to, very stupidly; pick up some newly hatched Diamond Backs. I guess he figured the babies didn't have much venom. “But they’re worth a fortune!” he groused, not taking into account the price of his thumb from the knuckle on. I don't like the hot herps and don't understand why some folks like to keep them. Back when I kept snakes, I preferred the safety of the reptile shows! – Mykal