Friday, March 19, 2010

The last and the First! March 19, 2010

OK... I cheated, but I had to. I told Andrea in advance and she gave me her blessings. It was going to be 70 degrees on the last day of winter, so I cheated on her... and went to see if I could find a winter herp... alone.

I would never do that if it wasn't important.

So I headed for Forest Hills Cemetery, which gets chelonian action early. I drove over and parked next to the flooded pond. the 10" on rain that we got in 3 days last week had hidden most of the basking spots and islands that are the usual turtle spots. But lo and behold... on a fallen birch tree trunk, a Painted Turtle was enjoying the WINTER sun's rays!
1st herp of 2010.. Painted turtle
I didn't notice his neighbor, who is right above him partially hidden, until later.

Here's a better shot of #1!

#2, his neighbor looked a lil' something like this:

A Robin stopped by briefly and squawked a bit. My momma always said "the robin red-breast is a sure sign of the last day of winter". I always just figured she was just drunk again, but it was true today.

So, yeah... the pond was super flooded. The whole road around the back of the pond was still flooded, right up until the graves. A goose is sipping from the upper right corner of the puddle.
Flooded road

Have a seat on this one! (Perhaps some turtles have basked on this bench...)
Swim out and sit on the bench, dammit!
(That's my car in the background...)

I went off in search of the pond in the newer section of Forest Hills Cemetery, as we had seen some frogs there before. I didn't see any, but this Mallard Duck couple were having a swim.

There was some flooding on the other side of the road that was full of geese. Suddenly one goose came running across the street, flapping and honking. He charged me, hissing!

I tried to snap pictures, but I was laughing and backing up really fast! He was pissed!

I'm guessing that I was near some eggs that might have been in the brush around the pond. Every time I walked by, even on the road, he got worked up and chased me! So now, dear Andrea... Yes! I have been hissed at by a goose!!

The real herp season starts tomorrow for us. We're heading to Ponk for a full walk! I can't wait to share a nature walk with my wife!! It's twice as fun that way!


  1. It's supposed to be so warm, I bet you see some snakes basking! Have fun and report back!

  2. "Oh, Michael" said in your mom's voice. You're going to have everyone convinced she's a drunk crack whore again, aren't you? ;)

    I'm glad it's not just me the geese hate.

    Today is going to be fun! And we did see a turtle last night -- sort of!

    xoxo. . . Andrea