Wednesday, September 19, 2012

National Snake Count Day 2... Cutler 9-16-2012

After the previous day's many-snake day and the soon to be infamous nose bite shot, anything else would be gravy! We headed over to Cutler at about 9:30, far later than the past few times, but it was fairly cool and we had no fear of over-heating on Racer Alley.

The day was crisp and lovely! While poking around a sandy spot, Andrea found a turtle hole. Was the nest empty? I decided to gently feel around and see. Nope... nothing... oh! Here's something soft! What could it be?
Hey! That's an American Toad!! He doesn't even have a shell! He must have crawled in to spend the night. Not a bad idea, really.

The hole was filled with stones... and then I found one soft stone! A Snapling!
I felt around for the layer is discarded egg shells and found some and some duds... as well as two occupied shells! The middle guy looked good, but the far right one was clearly not ready to emerge...
I put him back in and gently covered the nest up a bit. I removed the rest of the egg from my new friend... nothing was attached, and he took his first steps in my hand! He tried to climb the fabric of my shirt as well!

Andrea's charge was very active; ready to get himself established in some water and start growing!

We took them down to the edge of Racer Alley and placed them into some cover, hoping they'll get to the water on their own. My wee guy hadn't even managed to open his eyes yet, but kept rubbing the sand out.
Hopefully, we'll see them next year as snappy adolescents!

Racer Alley was indeed bearable, but we did get pretty hot. With some of the foliage dying with the end of summer, it was easier to look around, but still not easy. We saw no Racers. After the far end sit down, we headed back and a Garter shot across the narrow path and into some brambles. We couldn't find him for photos.

The other side of the tunnel was another story, though!

Since we got the nose shot, we figured we'd try another idea that we'd been planning... a picture of Andrea knitting and a wild snake sitting on her knee. Surely some of the sleepy Garters we've encountered this year would fit the bill! Like this first guy Andrea caught!
He coiled up nicely and relaxed! Let's do it!
Nope, not quite...
Hey, get back here!

Well, he wouldn't cooperate, but we did get to get this shot! Pattern for a snake-cozy! (Thank you, Terri for the line!)

The next guy looked like he'd cooperate!
But we'd just put back all of the yarn and figured what's the point! We'll try again soon!

Further along, Andrea made a nice grab on this feisty Garter! Only a small nip came her way!
A very lovely Classic Garter!

This Praying Mantis was flying all around. I'd never witnessed that before. It was cool.

Hey look- next to the path... another Garter Snake! A very clean one!
This guy was funny... he had no interest in biting us, but he bit the camera lens a number of times!

I adore this pic of Andrea!

We let him go and he didn't go far... he just coiled up a few feet away, content to be a Garter Snake on a nice September afternoon.

We saw one more Garter on the way out... his head was pointing down, obscured by grass...
We sadly realized that we'd interrupted his meal! He must have had a tenuous grip on a worm and when we approached, he let it slip away. We stayed with him for a while, trying to find the hole, but could not.
I'll bet this beauty was glad when we left!!

So, another 6 snakes (5 photographed) for Snake Count Week! Not too shabby!


  1. ¡Nunca vi tortugas naciendo.Hermosas!!!!!Y Andrea está delgada.Un beso Martha

    1. Andrea trabajado muy duro para llegar tan delgada! Espero que haya terminado con la dieta! Me gusta tener algo para abrazar!