Thursday, May 16, 2013

We just got time fer a quickie, baby. 5-16-13

We have a big herp weekend planned, but seeing as how we're both off from work Friday and we were in the neighborhood, we decided to take a quick, early evening romp through Cutler! The day had been very warm and when we got there at 5 PM, it was still over 70°.

We took to the trails a bit faster than usual as we were battling time. The sun was doing us no favors, coming in at a completely different angle than we're used to! Still, Andrea spotted this large, beautiful Leopard Frog right off the boardwalk!
Our first Leopard Frog at Cutler!!

We weren't having much luck along Racer Alley, but undeterred, we carried on, even cutting under a bridge and walking through a field to the river. There, Andrea got this great shot of a Red Winged Blackbird!
That bird has Racer attitude! Must come with the territory!

When we got to the forest, it was far easier to see, without the low sun blinding us. We decided to go as far as the second boardwalk or until we see a snake. Oddly enough, on the second boardwalk, I heard some slithery sounds. After a moment, I saw what appeared to be a Garter out among the reeds. I had no idea what the terrain was in this spot... muddy? 3 feet of water? Not caring I dove into the reeds and made the catch.
It was another large Ribbon Snake! Perhaps even the same one as last week (though it was a few hundred yards from the spot we saw that one...)
He had a bit of a meal in him, so we were quick and gentle.

Man, I love Ribbons and this year has been good for them so far!

So, keeping our promise, we turned back. Not far into the woods, I saw a movement which turned out to be this little guy!
An American Toad, I'm sure, but some of his spots have the Fowler trait of multiple warts. We've never encountered Fowler's here, so this guy is a bit of a head scratcher.
Beautiful, though...

What trip would be complete without a bright red Redback?!

Nearing the end of the journey, Andrea darted off of the final boardwalk and chased what we thought was another Ribbon... but upon catching it, it was a slim and very feisty Garter!
A really good lookin' fella!

So, not bad... 5 species in just 2 1/2 hours after work! Thursdays have never been better!


  1. Any more pictures of the "pickerel"? It looks like it might be a leopard.

    1. I don't... I wondered, but the blotches looked pretty much in line. But, looking at the legs on a big pic... you really have me wondering! It would certainly be a first for there!

    2. Def Leppard, according to Bob. I added it to the database as such.

    3. Looking at it now, with the light greenish rings around the spots, it's a no-brainer! I guess I've learned a LOT about these guys this year!