Saturday, June 30, 2012

Beat the heat at Boyden! 6-30-2012

With temps climbing into the mid-90s today, we decided to have an adventure... we got up a bit after 4AM and got to Boyden at 5:30 AM!! Herping at sun-up! Would it work? Are we insane? So many questions!!

It was still fairly cool when we sprayed down. We headed to the house and found a small Garter Snake sleeping under a board.
Yes, Andrea WAS still partially asleep when she made this catch.

We released him and luckily he moved away from the board. His board-mate wasn't so lucky. He had been squished weeks ago... KIDS- CHECK UNDER BOARDS BEFORE CYCLING OVER THEM!!!!!!!!

Speaking of dead things, it looks like a hawk had eaten a meal in the fragrance garden...

It was actually kinda tough to search the trails in the forest as it was still dawn and not really bright. Nearer the water, it was good enough to see this dark American Toad!

Across the water, standing in the first rays of sun, was a Heron... probably looking for dark American Toads!

Hard to believe, but I was full-on excited to see a Redback! I figured that in a few hours time, he'd be back WAY under ground!

This is a lovely dragonfly, eh?!

Next up, Andrea found this wonderful golden Bufo Americanus!

Howza 'bout some tracks? I think we just missed these nocturnal critters...
And deer...

I flipped some rusty metal and cut my finger. Hope that last tetanus shot was within the right time frame! (I think it was.) I did it again a while later.

Andrea's next catch was a beautiful Milk Snake!!
He seemed right at home in her hands...
That's a nice little wishbone on his head!

As the sun warmed things up, we figured we'd see some guys on the move. It took a while, but sure enough, Andrea caught a very feisty young Garter- and has the snake blossoms to prove it!
He remained fairly cranky (and nearly impossible to get a good shot of... because I kinda suck with the camera).

So, with Andrea at 3 snakes and me at NONE, I had to step up my game on the way out...

Walking the lawn of the Fragrance Garden, I saw a garter trucking along through the grass and I made a very dramatic (and unneeded) lunge to grab him. He was a real mellow sweetie.
He had a damaged tail... looks like musk saved another life!! He didn't musk me at all... I wonder if he's still able to.

We checked up by the house again. A mouse that had been there at 5:30 was still there 4 hours later!

Andrea found a nice toad who decided to walk up her body and get on to her shoulder!

Andrea saw a thick black tail disappear into a thicket... perhaps Racer? I saw a large garter disappear near the same place. The heat was up and everyone was on the run for a little while longer...

Then we made the best discovery of the day... ripe black raspberries!
We picked plenty of them for tomorrow's breakfast!

I spilled some in the car and sat on them. Andrea found this hilarious.

In the parking lot, this little Eastern Phoebe was sitting on a sign with a bug in his beak.

We made a run to Oliver Mills to see if any Water Snakes were out, but it was almost 11AM and the sun was baking already.

When we got home, we noticed this nest of baby Robins waiting for some food!

So, a snake before 6 AM and home before 1PM, many errands run and 5 1/2 hours of hiking! They say it was going to get really hot, but we were napping in a cool air conditioned house by 2, so I'll have to take their word for it! Nice!

(And as a side note, Andrea was covered in musk and snake blossoms. Not me. Just blackberry juice. And those those metal scratches.)


  1. ¡Todo hermoso!!¡Te sentaste sobre frambuesas... ja ja ja... muy lindo!!!!!!!Besos x dos Martha