Friday, June 21, 2013

The Palace of Sirtalis 6-20-2013

For the last day of Spring, we wanted to take advantage of the second longest day of the year with an after work herp adventure. Adventure? Well, at least a couple of hours poking around looking for herps. It's a rare weekday treat and this Thursday seemed as good as ever! We chose Brook Farm... nearby, easy and home of herps.

We got there at about 6:30 PM. Things got off to a good start when, from the road, we saw and photographed this Mama Turkey and her wee chick!
I think we both made an audible squee!

Inside the woods proper, our first herp was this small Bullfrog, who was very patient with me as I took about a dozen shots... finally getting this good one!

At one section where there are concrete sheets, we eagerly went to flip. We're sure we'll eventually flip and see large black racer coils or Milky coils. Not this time, but we did find our first ever snake under them! This shoestring Garter was coiled up!
Brook Garter
Frisky at first, he settled down into a happy little handful.
Brook Garter

After last weeks flooding, we weren't sure what we'd encounter this night. It was muddy, but not too bad. In one of the few large, standing puddles, some small Green Frogs had moved in!
I was unable to get a decent shot of one guy, so I picked him up for Andrea to document.

Being short on time and daylight, our goal was to get to the bridge crossing into Millennium Park and turn back. Along the way, I saw a coiled Garter and when I went for a picture, he sped off. DRAT!

We got to Millennium and decided that, since it was still sunny, we'd look into... these...

It didn't take long before these big, heavy rocks yielded another wee shoestring Garter!
Millenium Garter 1
Millenium Garter 1

Cut lil fella! As was the next guy!
Millenium Garter 2

Andrea was flipping on the other side, closer to the water. She found this much bigger guy!
Millenium Garter 3

And then this smaller guy!
Millenium Garter 4

This was starting to feel like Pennsylvania flipping! Then something bad happened...

I flipped a big rock and it was full of coils. I grabbed what I could, which turned out to be two bigger Garters, which I handed to Andrea. A third one slid under the rock I was holding up, into the jagged gravel underneath. I shifted, and I assume the rock did as well. When I extracted the Garter (small/ medium), I noticed some blood on my finger. In horror, I noticed that I had injured his tail, about 4" from the end. His tail hung there and I wondered if I had hurt his spine. I poked his tail and he swayed it a bit, which was a relief.

I wasn't sure what to do. I felt horrible. It was a pretty big wound, probably broke a couple of ribs. I just hope he wasn't in horrible pain. I handed him to Andrea, who inspected him. He acted fine, tongue working in and out... she released him and he slithered off, quickly and with fair agility, to go under a rock. I pray that he will be all right. I have never felt so horrible...

His two roommates were posing nicely, though one was flat and pissed.
Millenium Garter 5 & 6
Millenium Garter 5 & 6

The next two guys, found under separate rocks, were fun. One was a real nibbler!
Millenium Garter 7
He thought he could devour me, starting at the knuckle. (Yes, that is the injured guy's blood on my finger.)
Millenium Garter 7 & 8

It should be noted that every Garter had musked the bejeezus out of us.

The last successful flip was pretty exciting... our first  Water Snake in Suffolk County!
We knew they were around, but had never encountered one in this county! He was definitely ready for his close-up!
He left spit all over the lens.

So, it was starting to get darker and we headed back in a bittersweet mood. We were happy to have photographed 10 snakes on a Thursday night! But we were (and still are) a bit shaken by the accidental injury of the Garter (who we did not photograph). It just sucks when something like that happens to an animal we try so hard to protect.

I saw this Bullfrog in the waning sunlight...

And there were Bunnies frolicking in the dusk...

And with that, my story is done.

No comments:

Post a Comment