Sunday, July 11, 2010

My Kingdom for a Redback- July 5th, 2010

Heatwave continued... no rain for weeks... hey! Let's go Herpin'!

We'd quickly checked out Cutler Park Reservation in Needham earlier in the year and deemed it worthy of our Herpin' time. A fellow hiker had mentioned some "black snakes, 6 feet long, that shook their tails and stood their ground"! Always in the mood for a Racer, we decided to try to get there early, before the 90+ degree weather kicked in.

By 9:30, it was roasting. We valiantly carried on, checking to and fro but, except for an unidentified frog who jumped into some cool bushes, we saw very little of interest.

This bunny was hot (and sexy).

But really, this deer pretty much spelled out how we would be feeling before too long.

Knowing that there was a pond on the far end of the reservation, we stupidly went for it. We were melting hot and didn't see so much as a redback. Nothing. We found plenty of superb habitat, some great flippin' wood, miles of excellent trails... but no animals stupid enough to be out.

After a few hours and a couple of miles, we found the pond... an oasis amidst the dust bowl that we'd just clunked through. We saw our herp of the day... a lone painted turtle off in the distance baking itself in the sun.

This beetle was so hot, he just left his skin behind and found shelter! (OK... it's some kind of molt...)

This place NEEDS RAIN!! The earth was cracked and dusty, the marshland dry and empty, and the animals conspicuously absent. We'll try again in September.

This hobby can get you. Some days, it doesn't matter how tenacious you are or how hard you try. Perseverance just doesn't always pay off. This was one of those nature walks that felt like an endurance test. Tired, thirsty, sweaty and beaten, we trudged back to the car. Better luck next time.

Then we got ice cream!!!

1 comment:

  1. I like it hot, but that day was a bit much, even for me. The dogs we saw had the right idea -- especially Taylor the black lab, who was swimming non-stop and had to be called out of the pond!