Wednesday, August 8, 2012

You can hitch a ride to Ponkapoag Beach! 8-5-2012

After the grueling, bone-baking day we had on Saturday, surely we wouldn't attempt another nature walk less than 24 hours later!! Yes we would, and we did! A swim in Ponkapoag Pond was the carrot dangling at the end of the stick! Hey ho! Let's go!

Yeah, we were still a little tuckered out and my old-man legs were feeling a little weak, but once we hit the trails, nothing mattered anymore. Though still in the 90's, things felt much cooler and, well... we were working our way towards a swim.

Andrea shushed me and started photographing this huge Bullfrog. She got right up in his grill!
There is no zoom here! She even petted his noggin before he hopped into the drink.

From this same spot, I could see a Painted Turtle basking. It looked a little something like this...

Along the dam, we could see a Northern Water Snake basking in the reeds some 20 feet away. These are the best shots we could get... ID-worthy, but little else!

Then we started seeing many Painted Turtles frolicking in the water!

This guy, who appears to be molting a bit, was just minding his business...
When this other guy tried to climb his shell for basking!
Needless to say, it didn't go over too well and they both disappeared.

This Egret was hunting around the same area, oblivious to our presence.

This Bullfrog, who wasn't too awfully big, was safe hiding under some lily-pads.

Next up... a first!

I saw a Garter Snake crawl over to a tree. I stealthily snuck up to it, got on the other side and grabbed him! Andrea said, "I didn't even see him! I thought you were talking about this one!" and she picked up one that I had nearly stepped on walking past him! Tandem Snake Catching! Synchronized Snake Snatching! She wisely held hers to the ground while it released a ton of musk. My smaller guy bit me.
He behaved for Andrea...
Then bit me some more...
That's OK... I'm never one to mind a few snake blossoms.

Andrea flipped a log and found a tiny (1" long) Wood Frog hanging out under it!

Before swimming, we had to flip a little more. We got pretty lucky and there was a lovely Milk Snake hanging out under a rock!
Check out that skull-like mark on his head! Nice!
I love how they look crawling away... such beautiful animals!

All the while when we were photographing the Milk, a young girl (8 or 9) was our best friend, holding him and telling us of the snakes she'd caught this week (including a Water Snake that bit her 3 times!) and we decided that she was OK!

Swimming was great and it cooled us off... giving us strength to carry on!

Our last shot of the day was this one of 3 Cormorants (and a very serious looking Seagull on the side) enjoying the warm rays of summer!

Just like we did!


  1. Spectacular Milk! Nice colors!

  2. It's always so exciting to find Milks! Hoping for a Green this weekend!

    1. Good luck! I have been looking for a green every weekend for a long time!

  3. We'll be cheating... my sister in the middle of NY State has seen them in her yard. That's where I'm looking!