Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Andrea got skillz! Ponk 7-7-2012

It was going to be hot again. Our intent was only to swim. We'd decided to pay for a day use pass at Ponkapoag Pond. Hopefully, there wouldn't be many screaming families there. Might as well herp as we walk to the swimming spot. Of course, being us, we got there early and walked for nearly 3 hours to the spot.

We saw many cute things on the way! Like this American Toad all tucked into a log that was knee-high to us!
I wish we saw him getting in there!

We saw a small Painted Turtle sunning on a rock. With this new, crappy camera, I tried to get a shot.
I kept inching closer, getting better shots...

Then I realized he wasn't bothered by me at all, so I picked him up for his close-up!

There were a couple of Water Snakes out and about. The dodgy camera only got a picture of one, but it's pretty good.
Looks like a meal there in his midsection!

Walking along the path, Andrea went into a lunge and came up with this fine Garter Snake!
It started to dawn on me that she's catching all of the snakes now!!! I had to step up my game!

I was good for a couple of Redbacks at least!

We walked the entire boardwalk for the first time this year, but as pleasant as it was, we didn't see any herps!

Next up, we made a wonderful find. Now, facts vary about the status of these guys (depending on which page you read), so I'll just say that under a log, we found this Four Toed Salamander!
Four Toed Salamander
An unassuming little fella and a species we hadn't found before! Supposedly, they were removed from the MESA (Massachusetts Endangered Species Act) list in 2006, but they seem to be pretty rare. I mean, we flip a lot of logs every year and this is our first. Very exciting indeed!

Well, we were there to swim, and swim we did!
We were the only ones there, except for a couple of young lifeguards. We cooled off nicely!

I had flipped a bunch of rocks while Andrea changed into her swimsuit, but found nothing. One rock was too big to lift and look under, so after the swim, we took a look together. There was a Garter under there and Andrea snatched him out before I lowered the heavy rock! He showed he what he thought about that!
Andrea's snake blossoms
He snuggled up to me as Andrea watched her snake blossoms go into full bloom! It's so odd to have the shoe on the other foot!

So we call that a fun trip, though I wasn't able to catch any snakes myself! In the past 2 days, Andrea had out-caught me 4 snakes to one!! I've created a monster!!


  1. Don't worry; I'm pretty sure you made up for it very quickly.

    1. Is that considered a sneak preview?

  2. ¡El sapito en su "casita" es un primor.Me gustan todas las fotos!!!!!
    bs.x 2. Martha

    1. Gracias, Martha!! With love- Mike and Andrea!

  3. Replies
    1. Thanks, Steve! That was a real treat! At first (with my less that perfect vision) I thought he was a Redback! I'm glad we inspected closer!

    2. I flipped my first Four-toeds this year as well. I thought the same thing - Redback. I wonder how many times I actually flipped four toeds and thought they were redbacks because I didn't look closely.
      I'm headed down to Myles Standish this weekend to do some camping with the family. Any tips?

    3. There is a small pond across from College Pond where we missed a Hognose last year. So definitely look out for them! Also, I've seen Redbellies there!

  4. Thanks! I actually did not have a lot of time to go herping!@#$
    I did get to the park out a little. WOW! the place is huge with lots of possibilities to go herping. Definitely can't wait to go back to herp!

    1. * check the park out a little

    2. It is HUGE, indeed! The biggest problem is finding places to park and herp.

      We'll be heading back before too long, but I do find the place very frustrating! So much space, so much great habitat and so user UNfriendly!