Monday, March 19, 2012

2012 thus far...

We have had a very mild winter. Today is the last full day of Winter, so it's a good time to get up to date. That, and we saw out first herps yesterday!

Mild is an understatement for some of this past winter! We've been wondering how the weather will affect the time-tables and habits of the hibernating herps...

On March 8th, the temps were going to be in the mid-60s. I had the day off from work, so I thought I'd get a bit of exercise and take a quick hike through Allendale. I took a very short one, only about an hour, and saw nothing.

My pal, Ryan Gilmore, did the same thing and came up with a GORGEOUS Northern Water Snake in Andover Mass! He happily shared his pic with us!
water snake
(By the way, it attempted to bite AND musk but missed with both!)

Andrea and I took a stroll though Hoar Sanctuary that Sunday (the 11th) and again we saw nothing. Andrea's shoes aggravated her Achilles, so we got the new shoe experiment done with early. It was a failure.

The next day, Monday the 12th, I went to my friend's yard to inspect their stone wall. Home to Dekay's snakes and redbacks, it yielded nothing. Boo!

Weather reports were calling for an incredibly mild Sunday (the 18th) but I had already committed myself to helping out a friend, working for him at his record show. Plus, my financial situation demanded it. BUT, I suggested that Andrea take a hike and look for herps in my absence... you just can't pass up a great day!

She did, and took a stroll half way around Ponkapoag Pond with our friend Lisa Griffith. Here is what they saw:

First herp of 2012... a Wood Frog in the vernal pond!
First Herp of 2012- Green Frog!

The pond also had clumps of eggs! Did that lil gal just lay 'em?

After the dam (no snakes...) Andrea found the first Redback of the year! Lisa looked on happily!
1st catch of 2012- Redback Salamander

A mini-leadback was up, too!

One of each!

They made it to the bog boardwalk and headed in... this Bull Frog awaited them!

This guy was keeping an eye on the two...

A successful trip!

I got home at about 4:30, ragged and tired. My first thought (after seeing the pictures and hearing about the hike) as to go up to visit Snag and Kate's backyard! No Dekays up yet but...

My first Redback of 2012!
Mike's first herp of 2012

And some more the two of us found:
(Andrea had been doing some cleaning when I got home, thus the zombie-hands!)

I'm happy with our Winter herps! It's supposed to be nice this week... maybe I'll stop somewhere and see if any turtles or snakes are up yet!


  1. Correction: the first time you looked in Kate & Snag's stone wall you did find a skin. :)

    Apologies for my zombie hands. I work them hard.

  2. Queridos amigos,me alegro que hayan vuelto al blog. Un beso Martha

    1. Gracias, Martha! Estamos muy contentos de que ha sido un invierno cálido! Los animales ya están despiertos!