Thursday, September 6, 2012

Swimming and Snakes at Ponk 9-2-2012

Day Two of Labor Day Weekend! Let's go to Ponkapoag!

We got there at 9AM and the beach was empty! We decided to poke around. This Bullfrog was there, enjoying some pre-human-invasion-time!

This Heron was preening on a nearby rock.

Along the dam, things were quiet. It was extremely shallow and this had caused many of the residents into deeper (further away) water. Walking on the rocks, I startled a good sized Water Snake...
He stayed well out of reach before disappearing into the reeds.

This trio of Painted Turtles was enjoying some rays!
From another angle... although this time we got photo-bombed (again) by a Bullfrog! (Look right below the flower...)
Another Bullfrog photo-bomb

I caught a Pickerel Frog and set up this lovely faux-nature shot... but he forgot to move in his front leg and ruined the illusion!!

A few Redbacks were up... but still not many. Soon, they will be all we'll be able to find!!

One flip was a very good one! Twin Ringnecks! We made a tandem catch! They were extremely difficult to photograph... the more orangey one, in particular, was a real tool!
"The devil has sent me Twins of Evil"! Finally, they calmed down a little and I could hold them still, although in a tangle...

Further flipping ensued. What is usually a stream was just a muddy pit now. We found a Green Frog under a rock, which prompted me to go deeper. Oops... too deep!
Sucking Muck

We got to the swimming part and paid our fee before flipping and poking around. There were skins everywhere!
Waters, Garters, and even a Milk skin! But no snakes. This Green Frog was hanging out in the swimming area.

It turns out that 5 O'clock Charlie was under the dock... he was sunning his head and neck. I didn't have the camera and he recoiled by the time I came back. BUT, I did keep peeking back there. At one point, I even stubbed my toe into a rock near his hide-out. I thought I'd broken it.
See that rock? I didn't.
It turns out (4 days later) that it was just a bad bone bruise. But it managed to slow me down for a while.

After the brisk swim (the water was pretty cold!) we found this Garter Snake near the path!
Andrea reached down and scooped him up. He was bitey but didn't make any good connections...
After the previous day's fancy-schmancy Garters, this one looked like a good ol' Classic Garter.
Classic Garter

The low water made for long stretches of "beach", including in one of our favorite resting spots. A camper said he'd seen a Water Snake in the area, so we went along the "beach" to inspect. Andrea spotted one!

Well, since I got a worthwhile catch the day before while getting double soakers, I figured why the hell not?! Hurting toe aside, I went in after him! With the help of a young girl (the camper's kid, I guess), I finally got this guy!
He was very strikey, but never connected. Very white inside-of-mouth, too!
Again- gorgeous reds!

So we triumphantly limped on out of there. A Cormorant and a Seagull were sharing Bird Poop Rock.
We actually took a few new trails on the way out, inspecting some new terrain, but my toe was achin' and I had to puss out. Still, we'd done over 6 hours (the last 2 with my boo-boo) so we were pretty toasty anyway!

But hey, we swam in September!

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