Friday, September 16, 2011

Eft You, Ponkapoag! 9-5-2011

OK, the weather was supposed to be crappy, so we didn't plan a Labor Day hike. It turned out that the weather wasn't crappy at all! In fact it was pretty nice! So, with a late start and all, we decided to hit Ponk!

It was pretty empty people-wise, which I love. One woman in a group asked what we were looking for and I said snakes. She said "ewww, gross... why?" and I got all passive-aggressive and said "because we love animals". I hate humans.

Anyhoo, it was light on the animals for some reason but here's what we did see...

A Pickerel Frog! Nice catch, Mike!

This Praying Mantis was a real cutie!

Andrea spied this Water Snake skin in the water... it was massive... probably about 3" wide which, even taking water swelling and flatness into consideration, it was from a thick snake! Who knows how long he might have been!

Andrea spied this little noggin sticking up... was it a frog? A turtle? Nope! Turned out to be a Water Snake... not the owner of that skin, however!
This guy was a decent 2-footer, but definitely not the freshly-shed behemoth! He stayed just out of reach... maybe he was the same guy from last time!

This wee Painted Turtle was catching some rays... all 2 1/2" of him! He was but a niblet.

We were well into the hike... 2/3 of the way around the pond, before we saw our first Redback! This photo sucks, but it's all we got to prove his existence!

We'd said we weren't going to flip at the campgrounds but there was only a small family of 3 there and they were in the water, so I flipped some stones. One stone, the size of a Frisbee, had a beautiful Milk Snake under it! A biggie, too!
What a gorgeous one! Caramel background, rich red saddles!
The kids swimming came up to touch him. As soon as they left, he nipped my pinky finger. It bled like mad! Hilarious!
Milk Snake nibble

One of my favorite things about my Al Feldstein tattoo is the great pictures that sometimes come up... like this one:

We put him down and he hung out in a pile of sticks for a while, then retreated right back to the same small rock he was under before!

After I stopped bleeding all over everything (he got me right in a good spot, I guess!) I found this lovely Leadback!

As we headed back to the car, we continued to flip. Under one piece of reddish bark, we found our first ever Red Eft at Ponkapoag!! 5 years of herping here and this is our first!
Eft You!
He was tiny and colored so much like the bark that we nearly missed him!

It's always nice to add a new species to a place! Especially when it's our favorite place! So, all told, this one was a quickie (for Ponk). Only about 3 1/2 hours but we're calling it a success!


  1. ¡Qué tatuajes!!!¡Realmente sos aficionado al terror.!!!!¿Andrea también? voy a pensar en ustedes para una ilustración terrorífica.Martha

  2. Esa es mi tatuaje reciente de una cubierta Tales From The Crypt de edad, dibujado por Al Feldstein! Mi libro de terror cómico favorito!