Friday, May 31, 2013

From Pissed to Bliss! 5-31-2013

Andrea had a crappy day at work, so I asked early on if she'd like to do some Friday Night Herping to start the weekend early. She said sure, despite the "heatwave". (It was in the mid-90s today). So at about 5:30, we hit the road to try to find Wigwam Pond in Dedham to see if we could see any turtles or anything.

Rush hour traffic. Slow... slow... slow... When we broke free, our destination didn't seem to exist! I'd gotten directions from the DCR website, but there was a soccer field where the parking was supposed to be. We poked around, asking residents where the pond was. Half of them had never heard of it, the rest (including a local cop) had no clue where to park for it.

We had wasted roughly 2 hours. Giving up and driving towards home, Andrea looked at me with pleading eyes and said "I wanna herp"... so we decided to hit Cutler, which was very near by, to check out the sheets of tin we placed along the path last week. So we pulled into the Cutler parking spot at 7:30PM... and it was still 91°!

We walked at a brisk pace, knowing darkness would be falling soon. We didn't walk so fast that we missed this nice Garter Snake, though!
He was pretty thrashy at first, but clamed right down in my hand!

We found this... looks like a Snapper nest had just been filled!

We walked along Racer Alley, where we had placed the tin, but they yeilded nothing. I doubted they would. Nearing the end, Andrea said "hey- look"! There was a Painted Turtle walking the path with us!
She stopped and posed for some close-ups!

Exactly one minute later, we heard a ruckus in the tall grass and bushes next to the trail... another Painted was up!
At our presence, she pulled further into her shell than any turtle I'd ever seen before!
Even further than this!

So, as dusk set in, we already considered this a worthwhile endeavor. In the waning light, I saw a stripey squiggle at the end of the path. I said to Andrea, "oh you will be happy" and bent to grab this little fella!
When are baby Milk Snakes not a squee-worthy delight?!
In all honesty, that is what we'd really been hoping for! Mission accomplished! Anything else would be gravy!

We got to the edge of the woods and had to put on our headlamps. It had just gotten too dark to see without them. They actually made searching very pleasurable! Andrea found this little, colorful toad!
This is one of those bizarre Cutler toads that look partly Fowlery, but have more American Toad characteristics! Having never seen a full-on Fowler's here, I just can't call it an intergrade. I need to study my toads more!

While Andrea was seeing that beauty, I was further up the path photographing this Green Frog!

So, the night herps were out! On the way to the car, I had to tell Andrea to STOP! This wasn't just a rock, like she thought it was!
That's a tall-standing, magestic American Toad!

These two fellas were also on the path, right up on the last stretch going to the car!

So in an hour and a half, we had a trip that we'd have been satisfied with if it had taken us four hours! We may never know if Wigwam Pond has an entrance, but we'll always have our Cutler... and it's only 20 minutes away!


  1. Can't beat your own backyard! Nice photos!

    1. So true! With this place so close, whop needs to travel?!