Friday, March 18, 2011

March 12th 2011- Cabin Fever got the best of us.

Since mid-December, I have been dreaming almost every night about getting back into the woods, dreaming of catching snakes and salamanders. It's no surprise that on the first warmISH day of the year, we got ourselves out and walking.

The week had ended with heavy rain so, in my stupid, innocent optimism, I figured that it might have woken up the salamanders. That Saturday, it was in the 50s so, we figured why the hell not?! Sho nuff was a beautiful day!

We headed to Hoar, our Salamander Haven. If anything would be up, it would be up there. While it wasn't exactly a successful trip in that regard, it was a fantastic two hours getting off of our asses and seeing some nature.

Well, of course the spring reveals many things, and this dead raccoon was our first animal...
Raccoon skull

But things picked up with signs of living animals... like raccoon tracks in the mud...
It looks like maybe a dog print right next to it...

Deer poop-
Deer poop

And a horfed up hair ball, perhaps an owl pellet!

There was some lovely Orange Jelly Fungus-
Orange Jelly Fungus

And the Skunk Cabbage was popping up all over!!

An interesting thing about Skunk Cabbage... it emits some heat when it's coming up, so it melts snow around it!

So where are the feckin' animals, beyotch?

Lighten up, yo... we had a few!

A male Mallard duck!

A hibernating bee! I flipped a log and there he was... I poked him and he nestled in deeper. Weird.
hibernating bee

There was still some snow around, so we figured that we might be a bit early for any herps.

But lo and behold, one flipped log revealed a Redback Salamander! Our first herp of 2011!
Redback- first herp of 2011

To say that he was slow moving would be an understatement. In fact, we weren't even sure if he was alive! So, I put him back and hoped that he'd thaw out and live a productive salamander life. I went back a few minutes later to see if he'd moved and it looked like he'd started pointing himself back underground... very very slowly.

So, we're happy! We got to spend a couple of hours doing what we love most! And getting muddy-

I snapped this pic of myself for an amusing snot-dripping shot...
Snot nose

Little did I know that I had a passenger
A tick, who make it up and onto my neck in a minute or two, making us freak out and hurry home to strip off all of our clothes (and not in a good way)!

Ah, the joys of nature walking! Can't wait to get back out!


  1. ¡Qué hermosos dientes tiene el cráneo!¡Bellísimas fotos!!! Un beso, Martha

  2. Muchas gracias, Martha! Que el cráneo es tan aterrador como uno de sus cómics de terror! Un abrazo... Mike

  3. Oh, I forgot that you took a photo of the tick! *shudders*