Wednesday, October 16, 2013

The blossoms of October 10-14-2013

Hey, I don't care if Christopher Columbus was a land-stealing asswipe! We had the day off and dammit, we were gonna herp!
The temps were supposed to be in the mid-60s and sunny, which was good enough for us. We headed to a turtley place in Worcester County and got there around noon.

Hey! Fuck you, Government Shutdown! The place was closed! Still, there were others parked outside of the police tape, so we kidded ourselves that what we were doing wasn't illegal, parked and went in! There was a DOR Garter on the closed road... parts of a big one anyway. He had been there for a while.

Admittedly, we were a bit jumpy, not knowing if we were going to get arrested or not. Plus, the first pond was pretty much gone. I only managed this shot of a (I think) Bullfrog.

But at a reliable area, I heard the swoosh and saw a dark tail disappearing in the brush. At least one snake was up. We decided to hang around for a bit. We soon flipped a Redback.

The second pond had some turtles up. We were trying to get some photos when we saw someone coming. Luckily, it was another hiker who was also breaking the law. We talked and we told him what we were looking for. He liked the Painted Turtles that we pointed out.

42Zoom be damned, Andrea put on her modest zoom and aced this shot!

Here's another view of the middle guy and his companion... (holding out while some of the others slid in...)

We walked up the path and simultaneously noticed this long, tall Garter next to the path.
He was very cooperative for multiple photos, which of course we took, being so late in the year!

While we were enjoying this Garter, the hiker guy had stopped about 40 feet ahead of us and was looking to the side. I called, "snake?" and he said yes. I told him we had one here as well and he came back to look. He said there was another further up that looked about the same. We thanked him (as he left) and this is what greeted us up ahead...
October Water Snake! I pulled him to the path for photos and he bit me a few times. Sweet Nerodia!
He kept crawling off, but not to the side. He kept going between my knees! Finally, I closed my legs up and he went right into my lap!
As inconsiderate as he was, we managed some good photos! He was in the blue and was one of our one-eyed Water Snakes from earlier in the year!

We got to our turn-around place and this colorful Painted was basking for all he was worth!

It had indeed hit 65° and in the sun it was warm and comfortable. I walked right by this:
Andrea didn't!
Another real sweetie that posed nicely!

On the way back, our first Garter friend had crossed the path and was still poking around, hoping to find a snack...

We had already exceeded our expectations when Andrea heard a heavy whoosh! She could see the banding of a water Snake deep in some bushes. Pricker bushes. Hey, the season is almost over, so I defied all common sense and went into the prickers. Ow. I finally saw the snake and was able to reach it. It bit me a few times for good measure.
But again, it calmed down for some photos.

So between the two Water Snakes, I had some pretty bloody hands! Ah, Snake Blossoms are never so beautiful as they are in October!

On the way out, we saw another Bullfrog.

And a couple more Redbacks.

Plus, we saw a family hiking so we felt even better about our choice to disregard the law! Sadly, there was another good sized DOR Garter on the way out, only about 10 feet from the halved one from earlier. He was also long dead. Obviously, they had come up to soak up the warmth of the asphalt one night before the shutdown and were sitting ducks for the cars exiting the lot. Very sad.

So, October 14th and four snakes! It ain't over 'till the fat Water Snake hibernates!


  1. Love reading and seeing the photographs of your herp escapades:)

    PS: Absolutely love the subtlety of the first photo! <3

    1. She's a beautiful girl, isn't she?