Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Go, speed Racer, go! Cutler... Saturday April 14th.

OK... Cutler Park Reservation... it can be frustrating, for sure. All this talk of Black Racers and we've seen nuthin' but a skin. We actually said to each other as we got out of the car, "you know, we might be disappointed by Cutler once again"! Still, the weather was beautiful and he hit the trails at about 10:15 AM.

The drought was evident here... some water, but much of the wetland area was in need of rain.

A Goldfinch greeted us with a beautiful song when we hit the boardwalk.

I've noticed one thing this year that shows my snake-finding maturity... I saw this Garter Snake resting in some sticks and pointed him out to Andrea and said "photograph"... so we'd have a shot when I dove for him and missed.

Well, I made a very dramatic dive and... he never moved. I think we (barely) woke him!

In fact, a heavy musking into the grass aside, he was about as mellow as snakes get!

We put him back to his pile of sticks and he just relaxed again. We went a bit further down the trail before doubling back to check him out. He'd moved a bit but was still sleeping. What a life!

So, we hit what we call "Racer Alley", which is where we've gotten reports of racers and have found a skin. We found this deer skull that someone had displayed prominently for us.

Then, Andrea went to flip a grocery cart and startled a medium sized streak of black! What do you know... Racers do exist here! Like lightning, this 3 foot or so snake blazed out into the reedy (dryish) wetland area.

I stepped out towards the flight path of Speedy and was reprimanded by another Racer that was easily 4+ feet. He lay there, head raised high and shaking his tail vigorously in the dry grass. Again, I yelled "Photograph"!

As I would move closer, he would duck back a bit, then turn around and face me, always keeping the same distance from my hands. I snapped a pic from where I stood.

He was just a bit too smart for me and I barely got a stick on him. Eventually, be cruised into some brush and left me empty handed... Looked like I wouldn't be wearing this guy in my head.

But it's sure nice to know that the legends are true! There are indeed Black Racers in Cutler!

Exhilarated, we went on. To make things even more humiliating, a shoelace sized Garter handed me my ass as soon as we hit the woods.

In stark contrast to the day before, this is the only Redback we saw!

Then, to add injury to insult, I got tangled up in a pricker bush! Check this one out! It pierced my arm! How Primitive of me!
Pricker pierce!

One the way back out of the woods, we were poking around near where the tiny Garter bested me. Andrea leaned in to flip a log and a flash of yellow streaked into some leaves. I grabbed and missed (story of the day for me) but then saw a shoelace of a Ribbon Snake sitting there! What a beauty!

Andrea flossed with him...
Ribbon on the cob!
while I tried to catch salmonella the funny way...

Now, I'd like all of you to take notice... Andrea is displaying proper matching nail-polish/ snake etiquette here.

He was a good little piece of Ribbon Snake candy!

On the way out, we saw another Racer slip into the rocky side of the hill. No hopes of finding her. We also checked on Sleepy the Garter, but he had woken up and moved on.

OK, so Pix or it didn't happen. You'll have to take our word on some of those snakes. But hey- this day raised the usually frustrating Cutler much higher on our favorite places list!


  1. ¿Andrea,come serpientes? ja ja..¡Qué interesantes fotos y qué vida aventurera la de ustedes!Los lugares son hermosos y más con tantos bellos ejemplares. Un beso por dos Martha

  2. Muchas gracias Martha! Andrea le gusta usar las serpientes como la seda dental! ;)