Tuesday, July 17, 2012

The snake days of summer... Boyden 7-15-2012

Having been at Brimfield the day before and being a bit tired, we had no real plans for Sunday. But we were up early enough and decided, if the car would behave, we'd take a drive to Boyden Refuge. Remember, the last time, we got there at 5:30 AM (to beat the heat) and were done by 10!

Well, we got there at roughly 9:45 AM this time and headed towards the house. There is a water-works hole covered by a table top on the lawn... we always check to make sure there are no toads or anything trapped in there. We flipped and a large Garter was right under the edge and slid into the hole!
He was probably big enough to get out, but we lent a hand. He was striking so we drew straws and I was the lucky one to remove him.
Just a slight nip and a light musk... this guy wasn't so bad after all! Looks like he had some food in him or she has some young in her. Either way, an impressive Garter!

I walked to the house and said something to the effect of "this part will pay off one day" and flipped, adding... "like with this Racer!"
Decent sized, medium-large... he musked and flickered his tail a bit, but never bit. (Actually, he threw one towards my face and one at the camera, but was pretty cool overall)
Man, I love these guys!

Next up (and yes, this was all in the first 20 minutes!) we found a wee Garter Snake!
Check out this guy's unusual pattern!
Garter Snake with an interesting pattern
Kilroy was here!

Well, we knew that we wouldn't remain so lucky, and we were right! The temperature rose rapidly and quickly hit the 90s. Things got tough to find!

One pond that was drying up was still home to many singing Green Frogs!
And a Bull!

Nearby, we saw movement in the leaves. I'll be damned... tiny Spring Peepers were hopping about!
Mini peeper

Mini American Toads, too!

At the falls, some Canadian Geese were keeping cool...

Right below the falls, there was a Painted Turtle poking around some rocks, but he was gone before I could get the camera out!

Old, decaying rugs. Such magical litter! This time, a young Garter Snake was hanging out under one!
When I say that he musked the bejesus out of Andrea you best believe I mean musked- M.U.S.K.!
Cute little devil, though!

I flipped a stove (!) and this toad was burrowed way in, keeping cool!

We hit a wading spot in the pond and I gallantly offered my non musk-covered shirt to Andrea in exchange for her smaller, musky T. We waded in, I washed the shirt, and dunked my head and cooled off. Heavenly!

One flip got us a Redback, but look at the community under this one little log!
Life under a log
A Redback, an earthworm, a beetle and some Pill Bugs! Nice!

The last noteworthy flip (except for re-finding the small Garter from before) was this large beetle. My insect field guide leads me to believe that it's a Giant Root Borer. A huge guy, at any rate!

So, not a bad day! Any day that starts out with 3 snakes in 20 minutes is a good day!


  1. !A ustedes no les falta coraje!!!!!!!¡Muchachos ,que temple!!!!! Un besox dos Martha

    1. Gracias, Martha! Me encantan los animales y no temen ser mordido si nos ayuda a obtener una buena fotografĂ­a!