Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Back to familiar... Boyden 7-9-2011

Well, we had been trying out a lot of new spots of late and since we got lost at 2 of them, we decided to go to one of our favorite places, one that we're very familiar with... Boyden Refuge in Taunton. We hadn't expected to be able to herp that day, but plans changed so with a late start, we headed out.

We arrived way later than normal... we hit the trail at High Noon. We got things started with a few nice Redbacks!

Surprisingly, there weren't many turtles about, save for this Painted Turtle who was doing his yoga, face hidden to the camera.

It's still the season for tiny toads and Boyden was positively hoppin' with them!

It was very moist there, having had heavy rain for two nights prior, so it was good n' shroomy!
There was even a rare Butt-shroom!

Further along, we found what looked like speedy tiny toads, but were in fact tiny Spring Peepers!

This guy wanted a closer look at the detailed ink on my arm...

American Toads continued to pop up in all sizes!

No matter how small they are, toads always look so put-upon!

Andrea got this nice snap of a dragonfly at the waterfall...

We'd seen many Pickerel Frogs along the trails, but were unable to photograph them. This Green Frog sat for his portrait, though.
I think he might be the same guy that we found here. It must be his crib, yo.

Again, with so many toads, it was surprising that we didn't see any snakes! But then, we had arrived late... they might have already eaten and were resting. Digging through some soggy carpet, I proved my theory!
This fella had some real girth, like he'd just eaten a dozen tiny toads. He musked audibly... right up my arm, but luckily, it didn't stink much. Even if it did, how could I have gotten angry at this face?!

He was very interested in getting a close-up from Andrea!
close up!

Andrea, who has excellent eyes, managed to find this TT... ridiculously small!

This guy posed so beautifully, we took many pics! Such regal beauty!

So, then we were walking along, almost ready to call it a day, when a Garter Snake shot across the path like lightning! We looked beyond a log into the brush behind it and didn't see him. So... I rolled the log. There he was!!!

As I leaned forward and reached for him, a sharp jagged stick stuck into my right eye at the same time! It was like fire shooting through my face! Being the intrepid herper (read: idiot) that I am, I held the snake over my shoulder for Andrea to take and get the shot, while I lay with my face in my hands, writhing in pain.

This is the culprit.

Through the searing pain and not knowing if my eye was even still inside, I heard Andrea say that he'd musked the camera. I chuckled despite myself.


Eventually, I determined that my eye was in fact still intact, though it was sure in a lot of pain, and leaking ichor. I regained my composure after a while and posed with my new pal, who'd kicked my ass royally.

We let him go and he crawled off as if nothing had happened.

Well, my eye really hurt, but we'd already planned on Chinese Buffet (Beige Food) so we hit the Mandarin Restaurant on the way home. Then I drove home. At times, there was such white-hot stabs of pain in my eye that I almost drove off the road. But I didn't.

At home I showered. Rinsing my eye was a big mistake... the pain was unbearable. I napped for a bit. When I woke up, I couldn't go a few minutes without those shooting pains. I couldn't watch a Hicksploitation movie!!! I decided to go to the ER to have them take a look and give me something to slather on it. Second big mistake...

OK... we knew it would take forever. And it did. The Faulkner Hospital was hoppin' with drama at 9:30 on a Saturday night. I finally got a room and they brought in the wondrous Eyebox!
Maybe I'd get an all-new orb!!

EVENTUALLY... a doctor graced us with his presence. He looked, then decided I needed a cat-scan. We had to wait more. Andrea did her BRAIN THAT WOULDN'T DIE impression...
the brain that wouldn't die

Eventually, I went for my cat-scan. I had to stay on a stretcher, which the orderly (a self-confessed Jerry Lewis fan) kept bumping into doors and walls. Andrea wasn't amused with the wait.
andrea bored shitless

The cat-scan showed evidence of wood stuck in the eye, as well as a scratched and bruised cornea. Their treatment? Send me over to Mass Eye and Ear! By ambulance! They couldn't find an eyepatch (so I'd look cool) so they taped a flippin' urine cup to my face! I looked like a low-rent cyborg!
low rent cyborg

OK... long story short, since I'm out of pictures. I had another cat-scan at ME&E, they saw something too, though the attending doctor did not. They poked and prodded and generally tortured me (when they weren't completely ignoring me). A specialist was brought in and she said the thing should work it's way out with some eye-goo. (That had been my plan... 11 hours earlier!!!) At any rate, by 8:30 AM, with only a few dozes of sleep, they sprung me... with a prescription for goo.

The whatever-it-was stuck in my eye does indeed seem to have worked its way out... no more stabbing flashes of pain, and the swelling and redness are much better. As is the pain. The bruise is yellowey, so my eye looks stupid, but at least I don't have a fucking urine cup taped to my face! The scratched part is still pretty red, but it's getting better every day. Vision is fine. 4 days later, I'm very pleased with the progress.

So... 2 emergency rooms, two cat-scans, an ambulance ride, untold amounts of pain and money spent... was it worth it?

Hell yeah!


  1. Whew! That was harrowing! I am pretty freaked out by eye injuries so I read with trepidation. So glad that things have worked out.

    The Dedham BioBlitz might have a night time preview at my pad, complete with mercury vapor lights to attract bugs! Are you interested?

  2. That Friday? Perhaps! I don't think we'll be able to attend the Saturday one... I have previous plans. But we'll see...

  3. Gret Story an local links to me i live in dedham and work in taunton...

    Time to where the safety glasses.. Get some cool looking ones and you are more pokey pokey

    How was the food at the raynhsm Mandarin?
    I have not been there in awhile they had great crab rangoon

  4. Anon- we like the food at the Mandarin! Those stuffed mushrooms are to die for! (Their desserts suck, tho!)

  5. ¿Qué te pasó Mike,algún animalito te atacó,cansado de tantas fotos?...Muy lindas todas las fotografías y también Andrea .Que te cures pronto.Un beso para ambos.Martha Barnes

  6. Ha, ha! No, Martha. Llegué a esa serpiente pequeña y un palo me dio un codazo en el ojo! Que es mucho mejor hoy. (5 días después)

  7. Phew! That was a roller coaster and I even already knew the ending.

    Love the tiny toads.

  8. Glad your eye is doing better! PS: Ever read "The Sneeze?" ( Steve over there has some mysterious person stealing his sulfur shelf fungus every fall when it blooms. (If you go over there to read, search for "tree brain.) It's chock full of WTF, who goes onto other folks' property to steal fungus?