Thursday, August 18, 2011

Who put the Ponk?! 8-13-2011

Sometimes, you just gotta go to your favorite spots. Ponkapoag Pond is ours. We know the main trail by heart and there are many wonderful species of herps to be found!

We decided going in that we would explore some of the less familiar off-shoot trails since many of our nature walks this year have been marathons. Ponk usually takes roughly 4 1/2 hours. We could spare more.

True to 2011, our first sight was an American Toad! Here, Miss Andrea displays the proper way for a laydee to hold a toad.

It was nice to see a Painted Turtle basking close enough where we could get some good pictures! Each photo looked sillier than the last!

Andrea found this Northern Water Snake tooling around.
He was decent sized and had some lovely red saddles. He stayed just out of reach so we couldn't wrangle him in for close-ups. No matter... Andrea got some great shots!

Not far away, this Bullfrog was hangin' out, chillin' on a Saturday afternoon...

So was this fishie...

During the dog days of summer, one tends to forget about the Redback Salamanders. There were a few hangin' loose.

We hadn't gone down the boardwalk through the bog in a while... I don't think we did at all last year. So, we took a stroll. I'm happy to say that they fixed it up and there weren't any underwater planks!

Our first Bog herp was this Pickerel Frog... our frog in a bog!

We also saw a thin Garter Snake and more Pickerel Frogs in the bog, but were unable to get pictures.

First thing out of the bog, we saw another Pickerel! I managed to grab him for close-ups! (Though it wasn't easy!)

While I was wrangling the frog, Andrea was finding this partially devoured Stinkhorn. These dick-shrooms are a new one on me.
Somebody has been eating the STINKHORN!!

I checked my watch and saw that it was Redback O'Clock!!!
Redback O'clock

We saw another Garter that eluded our camera. We took an off-shoot trail that we had always enticed us, but he hadn't tried. We found this MONSTER SNAKE there!!!!!!
This wee Garter Snake couldn't have been more than a day or old! The funny thing is, when I bent down to pick him up, he stopped and struck at me!! Feisty little devil! All noggin and vinegar!

Hey look! Another Redback!

We got to our favorite stone wall, where we've seen Garters, Milks, and Ringnecks before. Who was here this time? An opera singing Ribbon Snake!!
The hiiiillls are alive with the Sound of Music!
He was going blue, starting to go into a shed and was a tad unhappy to be picked up. A little girl was looking at him and asked if she could hold him. I warned her that he was cantankerous. She assured me that she was good with snakes (she named a few kinds she had seen in her long, seven years or so of life...). I handed the Ribbon over to her and she held it for a while. It calmed down and practically slept in her hands. The Snake Whisperer 2!

This Cormorant watched in disbelief, from a distance.

I got hungry and reached for a pretzel, but it was in fact a Garter Snake!
Pretzel Snake!
This fella came out of nowhere when I was rolling a log. He must have been under some leaves where I was perched.
He got pretty cozy in the original snake whisperer's hands...
He was so comfy that I suggested that we put him down on the log for a real nature shot. We did and he did a back-flip off and slithered away. I gave him a 9.6, the Swedish Judge gave him a 9.4.

Ah, Ponk... how I love thee! 5 1/2 hours of herptastic goodness!


  1. ¡Andrea,alguno de esos hermosos sapitos,como en el cuento,puede convertirse en "príncipe"!!!

  2. Martha-Soy el príncipe Andrea de rana!