Tuesday, July 24, 2012

There's always room for surprises! Great Meadows 7-21-2012

While we're on alert for my daughter's call saying she's ready to give birth, we're trying to keep our herp shoes on during weekends. But we don't really want to stray far. We figured we'd head over to Great Meadows to see some turtles. Surely there would be plenty of distant basking that we could capture on the fancy new camera!

Or not.

The temperature was pleasant, but there wasn't the expected abundance of turtles up and about! The first thing we saw,  however, was this young Northern Water Snake! Check out the interesting belly on this guy!!
Interesting belly!
His skin also acted like it was ready to shed. This guy will be a beauty!

Of course, Great Meadows is a birder's paradise! We decided we like birders because they're serious and quiet. We joined in on some birding ourselves! Some ducks! Who knew they had such formidable teeth?!
Luckily, this was only a yawn.

This shot has a couple of Egrets and a couple of Herons in it!
No surprise turtles that I can see, though...

Here's Andrea's award winning shot of a Great Blue Heron!

And her side-view of a dragonfly!

Back to herps, this Water Snake was having a rest some 15 feet off shore! Thank you, Mr. Zoom Lens!

Nearby were some basking Painted Turtles (finally!)

This guy was teeny... maybe a 3" carapice!

We flipped a log and saw what I thought was a Pickerel Frog, who (like most Pickerel's this year) handed me my ass! I searched all over for him and couldn't find him. "Damn Pickerel" was my mantra for the next 2 hours. My friend and fellow herper Steve (hi Steve!) mentioned the next day that there has been Leopard Frogs at Great Meadows. A need-it herp for us. It certainly was a vivid green. Damn- best not to think about it.

We did corral this lively young Green Frog, though!

Hey! Here's another Painted noggin!

So, we decided to climb the view-tower there before we left. The scene looked like this:

We had seen a Muskrat cutting through this area, so we kept our eyes peeled. I saw what I thought was a shell (this was about 50 yards away) and took a photo. There sure enough was a shell (mid-photo) but when we uploaded it, we saw that there were plenty of Bullfrogs in there too! 6 in this shot! (Numbered for your convenience)

Another shot revealed another turtle head had shot up... it didn't look like a Painted!

Another shot, another new noggin- this time it's definitely a Painted!

I like surprise herps! It didn't seem like there was much going on here on this day... until we really looked!


  1. ¡Yo sabía que hay patos con dientes!!!!Y..¡Felicidades abuelo!!!! Un beso Martha

    1. ¡Muchas gracias! Cualquier día de estos!

      Nunca he visto el interior de la boca de un pato! Es como un yacaré! (No Hernan Torre Repiso... Yacare!)