Saturday, August 29, 2009

August 19th... bite me

This entry doesn't really count because it was just me, Mike, without Andrea.

I was at our company summer party at the boss's house. There are some nice woods behind his house. He has regaled me with stories of garter snakes. I took a walk.

On the way back from my woods walk, I heard a sound just off the path. There was a good sized (2 1/2 footish)garter snake. I picked him up. He bit. Hard. In 3 different places. Repeatedly. He never calmed down, striking towards my face as I inspected him.

Of course, I had no camera. I only have the wound to show. It looks like he was missing his front teeth. The bites shows him sliding backwards, creating a leaf-like bite print. Quite lovely, actually.
Bake Snite

If I knew that I wouldn't get out herping for the next TWO WEEKENDS (inclement weather and prior commitments...), I'd have made out with this sexy little snake!

August 16th- Only time for a quickie- at Allendale

Twas a Sunday afternoon... hot, humid... we needed snakes. Time was short. We hit Allendale.

There has been a lot of work going on there, with crews outlining paths with rocks and logs. It makes for easy trail walking (the gravel blows chunks though) but we got ourselves all wound around trying to find the fallen down house section. We did see new areas of Allendale, but with the clean-up and organized trails, it was starting to discontent us a bit. This toad echoed our concern...

My brain was becoming as twisted as vines...

We went off trail and found new, weird places... but no snakes.

We finally found fallen-down-house place and much to our relief, it hasn't been cleaned up. There was evidence of snakes
But no snakes.

We walked toward the pond and were greeted by a slender pal...
He just sat there, so we got a closer look.

So did he...

After musking the living fuck out of me, he posed for pix

We let him be and went to the pond where we were greeted by bullfrogs

Unfortunately there were some kids there, fishing and smoking and not saying "hello" back to us. There was a lot of litter and a number of dead fish around. It really made me sad. If these punk-ass fuckheads are catching fish and killing them, then my hatred for them knows no boundaries and I will beat them senseless.

Take care of your local wildlife, you shit-bag humans. Animals have way more right to the wild places than you do. Respect it or die. Period. Oh, and read the signs... it's a law, motherfucker.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

August 8th- Boyden Refuge

OK- in 2008 this was a snake mecca. Not so much this year, but it's a good walk so... let's do it. We went back on my brother's birthday.

We found a very small peeper just as a larger one was handing me my ass

It was nice to see a bunch of red backs this late in the year!

Toads were plentiful

Some chelonians were enjoying the sun

And a Pickerel frog was hangin'

We saw a mom mouse with babies attached, all of which hung on when she walked away... except this one...
We made sure it got back to her...

So, where the snakesesness at?

Well... one bitey milk snake was finally found. He bit me right in an itchy patch of excema on my finger, the bastard... But he was handsome as fuck, so I didn't mind!

I guess, as it's getting later in the summer, that this was our last trip to Taunton. There are places closer that have more snake action! May 2010 be more snakeriffic at Boyden!

August 1st- Ponk

Look, writing these things blows so here's what we saw on an unplanned, hot day trip to Ponk...

A small (vernal?) pond with frogs and these (Green frog?) tadpoles

A woodpecker

Andrea was kickin' vent, catching garters

I had to content myself wiping my brow with them...

I finally nabbed a few, like this lovely ringneck

and a feisty but lovable garter

So yeah, we saw and caught some snakes and frogs and then took an incomplete dip in the cool Pond. We shall go back and do this again... soon!

July 25th- a return to Walden

Walden Pond is a beautiful place and for a long time, the only place where we could see snakes. Since moving to Roslindale, we hadn't visited Walden; we had new snake friendly places.

But we wanted to swim, so we got out of the house early and went to our old favorite haunt. We arrived at about 9 AM and took the trail towards a place where snakes are always about.

On the way, one garter led me astray and made me trip. Asshole. The meadow has turned into a full-on body of water in the past two wet years but the frogs didn't seem to mind.

the frog in the foreground of this shot was large... the guy in the back was a monolith... I couldn't even see all of him. Biggest bullfrog I have ever seen...

There was plenty of fin action, too...

We found the snake area, but some other folks had settled there... folks happy to share a spot with snakes, so they were OK in my book! True to form, there were some snuggly garters.

We took the next opening and made ourselves at home. Curiously, there was a female mallard duck in the growth next to our rocks. She didn't seem to mind sharing...

OK... it gets just a bit too cute here...

We saw a small duck across the pond and could hear it chirping. The momma duck was cooing softly, but it was enough to attract the young 'un and he came over towards us.

He then nestled into the bushes with mum for a rest.

We took a swim, and hung out with our avian friends sharing our spot. We had a snack.

A garter snake, intent on getting somewhere came into our space, not noticing us.

Sadly, we didn't get it on film, but he went across to the other side of our space and bumped into the baby duck... getting air! Duckie was off to swim some more after that wake-up call!

Then he came back and started being too cute for words. He stood there and groomed, stretched and looked adorable with us. Folks walking by thought it was our pet duck. I was saying what a chick magnet baby ducks were where a man stopped and gasped and ooh'd and ahh'd.
Click on these to see the whole set on Flickr- too cute...

Here's a two minute vid of cuteness...

Another garter, full of something yummy, came by...

He got startled and turned back and bumped into the momma duck. She went into the water and answered our question. We thought she might be injured because she wouldn't move. I guess it was because she was staying put for Junior's sake.

On the way out, we checked our basking pals again...

and saw some lovely dragonflies

And hey... it's an ant, but shit... Andrea was on FIRE with the camera and this shot is awesome!

Snakes caught... zero! Snakes enjoyed... all of them! It ain't all about picked them up, getting musked and bitten and pissing off wee squamates.