Monday, August 19, 2013

Thay can't ALL be successful... 8-17-2013

For everyone who is on the edge of their seat from the end of this post, did I or didn't I find my lost hat...

I did. It was a roadkill hat by 8 AM, but it was there, waiting for me to reclaim it, wash it and love it.

We found another thing on the way into that day's park of choice... a cloth bag with writing on it that suggests someone who keeps and or breeds snakes had dropped it. It turns out that it was dropped by our (trustworthy) friend Matt but in the interim, I have decided to not mention the names of places where we herp. I mean, this place, a park in Norfolk County, has nothing rare or endangered in it, but I'd hate to think of someone coming in and clearing out the Milk Snakes or something. I didn't think anyone actually read this blog but, just in case, I wont be naming names any more. (And I wont be sarcastic about it like I was early this year when Andrea suggested I do this... "this Pond that rhymes with Quonkaquoag"...)

Anyhoo, our first herp was this American Toad.
I only post this because between us, we took about 30 pictures of him and none came out! That and he was the only animal we saw for quite a while.

Its not like we didn't try...

But things just we not working out for us this fine, sunny day.

A couple of hours in, we reached what used to be our spot with flippable boards. It has more or less been cleaned out in the last month or so. Our friend Steve had warned us, but it looked worse than I had expected. I gathered up as many scattered boards and wood as I could find to start to rebuild the pile for next year. We looked around for where the residents of the board pile might have moved to, but came up empty.

One ray of sunshine, we flipped this Spotted Newt!
Post-red eft stage, he should be looking for water to spend the rest of his days, but we're happy to have found him here.
That is our first "adult" Spotted Newt of the year.

Y'know, as great as the newt find was, that was just about it. We had been there for three hours and, even with all of the "you can't win 'em all" and "well, you can't find a ton every time out" things we were saying, we were a bit disappointed! Luckily, a couple of beautiful, clean Garter Snakes stepped up and made our day better.

We were trying out the "new" route that we had hiked only once before and were still striking out. Nearing the end of the "new" trail, I went off trail with designs on flipping a log in hopes of a Redback or two (a Leadback had wriggled away and disappeared on us near the formerly-known-as-board area). As we approached, a clean and speedy Garter darted in front of us. I got a hold of his tail and he struck a bit, but immediately calmed down into the most gentle Garter of 2013!
What a beautiful and extraordinary animal!
I decided to take advantage of how docile he was and take a nap with him!
My friend Lone, who is pictured on this shirt, likes this shot!

So, that perked us up a bit! It's always fun to get to handle a snake who doesn't seem to mind it a bit.

On the last leg of the walk back to the car, Andrea said "Garter!"... one had just scooted off of the path and down a hill. I went down the hill to try to get behind him; Andrea said he had stopped near the top. She got this stunning photo:
Had I known she had snapped such a great shot, I wouldn't have bothered with catching him for a close-up, but... I didn't, so I did!
Another super clean and friendly beauty! Just like Andrea!

With the car in sight, we were talking about the time we were exiting the park after dark, with headlamps on. We saw tons of toads that night. We wondered aloud where they hide during the day. Just then, we saw a small American Toad who wasn't hiding at all!
He ballooned up and released an amazing amount of toad-pee on us. That did its job... we put him down.

So, 4 1/2 hours and only 5 animals photographed? Oh well... "you can't win 'em all", "you can't find a ton every time out" and all that rot. At least we were out and about and together!

That night, we went to our friends Jess and Ryan's house to celebrate his birthday. They had mentioned seeing little brown snakes before. Unable to control myself, I was lucky enough to flip a medium sized Dekay's Snake!
He looks blue in these photos, but he didn't to the naked eye. At any rate, he was a delight to find!!

We went to bed fairly early that night as I wasn't feeling well and we had plans to get back to Bor... errr... a favorite place in Bristol County in the morning.


  1. Despertate de tu agonía por el veneno de la vivorita jaja !!!.. y decime si la dirección del sobre de "Navidad" , es la actual.Un besox 2 y otro a la bebé. Martha

    1. ¿Tienes el correo electrónico? Respondí a su carta! XX