Saturday, April 23, 2011

Patriots Day April 18th 2011... too cool?

Low Sixties. Bleh. BUT, this gift holiday to the people of Boston is traditionally our first herping day of the year, so we wanted to get out... even though it wouldn't be the first.

We wanted to check out Boyden Refuge in Taunton to see how it fared the winter.

It was very cool... almost breath-seeing cool. We went through quickly at first. The weather was cool for us, but the redbacks were enjoying it.

If you ever got the feeling that Redbacks are the most common herp in our area, you'd be absolutely right!

It should be noted that the forest was very wet... vernal pools were plentiful and deep, popping up in places we'd never seen them before. We had to alter our usual trail. knowing that certain spots would probably be impassable.

This lovely olive Garter Snake made himself known to Andrea. He took a little bit of work to track down, but we got him to photograph pretty well!

His body was warm to the touch, so I guess he'd found a nice basking spot. Overall, the weather was warming up a bit.

Not far from him, we found a Geo Cache...

A few Redbacks later...

we found our first Green Frog of the year, hanging out in a vernal pool.

Heading back, I saw a flicker of movement and saw a snake tearing up an incline. I lunged and landed full-out on my stomach grabbing a fistful of leaves. Andrea said that there was a tail in my hand... I reached further ahead and had a Ribbon Snake!

Really living up to his name, this guy was pencil thin, but about 18 inches long, with a beautiful shade of copper-red mixed in with the black of his sides.

Not bad... 2 Ribbon Snakes already in 2011... we didn't see ANY all last year!

On the way out, I was flipping warm stones in the Fragrance Garden and was greeted by a very weird thing. A tiny, hovering thing with a long beak. Was it a tiny hummingbird? I'd never seen anything like it!

Turns out is was a Large Bee Fly:
Large Bee Fly

New to me, though I guess they're very common! Moved like a hovercraft. Very cool.

Auf weidersehen!

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