Monday, May 13, 2013

Mutha's Day II: Slight Redemption (rated R for Scat)

After the nightmare that is Myles Standish, we almost decided to quit herping and take up an easier, more sensible hobby, like Ghost Hunting or Shark Dentistry. But we decided, once the rain lessened on Sunday morn, to traipse along the trails at Brook Farm for a few hours before we headed to Malden to see Andrea's mum for Mother's Day celebrating.

It was in the mid-60s temperature-wise, but still drizzly, so Andrea put a Jimmy Hat on the new camera.

We flipped the hell out of rocks and logs along the trail, but came up short. This Green Frog, however, sat for a picture in the nearby pond.
What a massive tympanium! I thought he might break into some hip-hop (as frogs do) and go all DJ and start scratchin' on that big ol' turntable.

Over by Sly's pond, this Green Frog asked if his butt looked big.
I said it didn't.

I descended a hill where I'd seen a Redback before and sure enough, I saw a Leadback and, under a rock next to him, a Redback... who dropped his tail at the sight of me and squirmed like mad, shattering any hopes I had for a decent picture. I guess I deserved that for startling him so badly.
brook plethodons
The Redback and Leadback pics are pretty much only for Atlas purposes... I don't expect them to thrill anyone with their quality.

Green Frogs were calling like crazy from one of the ponds... it sounded like a drum solo where all of the Toms were tuned to Green-Frog-pitch. This video gives you the idea, but fails to capture the grandeur.

We flipped one of the few pieces of AC (artificial cover) in the place and found a Brook Farm first... a small Dekay's Snake (Northern Brown)! He was helpful and stayed coiled as I fumbled with the camera. He just started to leave as I snapped this pic.

Teeny little guy, especially compared to Andrea's cartoonishly large head in this perspective-fucked photo!

We took some trails that were pretty new to us and explored some amazing wetlands. A few vernal ponds were still holding some Green Frogs.
Come to think of it, the Greens today might have been our first here...

Happily, along one of the back trails, I saw this:

While at the same time, Andrea saw this:

I picked up Andrea's find, a slightly larger Garter with a chewed on tail, while she got the more slender, in-the-blue specimen for photos. Both seemed nippy at first, but contented themselves with musking (Andrea's guy was the Rip Taylor of Garters... spraying her with a confetti storm of musk!) Then we both got pooed on.
The larger guy, who settled down nicely, also had a big red, healing wound on his chin... looked as though a scale or two got torn off. You can see it a bit here.
My thought is that this guy is just a toughie... battle scars. Up close, neither the tail nor the lip looked like any fungal disease to me.

We released them and they went about their merry ways... the larger guy into the nook of a tree:

And the smaller guy right back to bask, almost right where we first encountered him.

So, we washed up in the swampy smelling water and headed on, discovering new beautiful parts of this place.

Now, how can something this lush and beautiful just be sitting there in Suffolk County?!
Looks more like a tropical rain forest or a sunny Southern swamp to me!

So, we explored more, even getting into Millenium Park, a place we'd written off years ago as being too people populated. Upon getting to the river, we started seeing more potential and plan on revisiting it again. Surely there are some Water Snakes there!

So, we counted this as a pretty good hike... not slam-bang, but satisfying. Even better was going to Andrea's folks' house covered in snake shit and musk and having them still accept us as family!! That's love!

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