Monday, April 22, 2013

Andrea's Challenge: Day 2 (4-20-13)

Well after yesterday's quickie success at Borderland, we wanted to go to another one of our favorite places for Day 2, Andrea's count! We chose Massasoit because we love it and we talked about it all winter. We got there some time between 11 and 11:30 and it was cool. I kept my sweatshirt on when we headed out.

We started things off normally enough, with a nice sized Leadback!

Next up was our favorite of the weekend... a juvenile Black Racer!
We flipped him and were immediately charmed... we'd always moaned about needing to see one!
Even at this tender age, they have a ton of attitude! He even bit the camera lens!
Forgive excessive photos... we loved this lil bruiser!

The next few flips gave us varying shades of Redbacks!

I startled a Painted Turtle in. Normally, we'd just forget about it, but we were counting, so we waited down-pond until he re-hoisted!

There was a guy out and about fishing with his kid. The kid yelled "we found baby turtles"! We started talking. Sure enough... they had!
I was a little nervous about the kid carrying hatchling Painteds around in a bucket (full of worms!) but the dad was pretty cool and works at Petco, so they stand some chance anyway... being captives for the summer. I suggested he release them before the fall and he agreed.

He also told me of a Water Snake over by where we photographed the hoisting turtle. We backtracked and sure enough, there was a smallish Northern Water Snake swimming away... I was unable to get a pic or the snake. Good to know, though... this was a new spot to see one!

We heard Toads calling like mad from our favorite spot, but couldn't find them. This one young Fowler's (our first of the year) was all alone, huddled in under a rock.

Next up, we saw this remarkable Garter Snake... he has almost NO dorsal stripe!
Very faint at the neck, then gone! Massasoit has plenty with "disappearing" dorsal stripes but this guy is to the extreme! He also looks like Grumpy Cat.
And he calmed down so much that we got him to lay on his back like our cat Gibson.
One more shot of this beauty, who merely crawled into a comfy coil when we released him.

Within 10 minutes, we saw another large Garter Snake...
Andrea went all Steve-Irwin on him!

It should be noted that both Garters musked the shit out of us, but neither bit.

Soon, we stumbled into Painted Turtle territory...

Our run of cap-breaking Painted Turtles was interrupted only by this Redback!


On the way out (we'd been here for roughly 5 hours!) we found a few more Redbacks and Leadbacks.

Just as we once again were wondering just where all of the frogs are this year (besides the Woods and Peepers that we hear calling, but never see), this small Green Frog jumped into the water in front of us!

So, with the cap on Painteds in effect (stop at 20), we came to 35 herps found! Julie Valdivia guessed Andrea with 31, making her the closest! We are making a $50 donation to the Kansas City Zoo in her name!!

So, the whole challenge didn't work out as planned, but I think it worked out better! We got to herp together, which is really the way we love to do it, and we got to make TWO charitable donations.

When the Comic Con is rescheduled, we might very well reschedule our Borderland Challenge...

No comments:

Post a Comment