Tuesday, October 15, 2013

You know my baby herps dirty! 10-13-13

Still cold, but when you go out with super-low expectations, it makes the quest for herps that much easier to find success. The temps would barely hit 60° and it was still windy, but the sun was supposed to peek out so we picked a turtle-centric place... Massasoit.

We got there before noon... but not much before! Surely there would be no snakes today. But we found a Redback pretty quickly, so all would not be lost!

We got to a part of the lake where the water ends, and it is often glistening with oily stuff... be it old suntan oil or whatever. As soon as I said "I doubt there are any frogs in this today", I saw a good sized Green!

Andrea pointed out a couple of more frogs that I thought were Greens at the time, but I noticed when I got home that they were Bullfrogs.

This, the Toadiest Place on Earth, was bereft of toads on this day. They must have all gone into hibernation already. Good for them! I'll admit that I'm envious! But Redbacks were indeed back with a vengeance! This first guy was in the fire area that is usually reserved for Fowler's Toads!

Others popped up, too!
massasoit pleth
^ one of my better photos of the year.

By this time, I promised Andrea that we'd double our species count. Of course, I thought we only had two at the time. But I was well on my way to making that bold promise come true when I flipped this fine Pickerel Frog!

Andrea found a nice Mantis that became friendly with me.

Andrea also found a predated turtle nest. It looked fairly old. There was a dead toad outside it, brittle and dry. She reached in and scooped around, trying to see if there were any eggshells inside, perhaps indicating that some of the nest's babies were successes. She pulled out a very surprised Fowler's Toad.
Oops! Well, we learned something today. Toads will appropriate old turtle nests for their over-wintering! We put him back and tip-toed away so as not to disturb him or his nest-mates.

There were motor-bikes going around again. I snapped some pictures of them. They will be reported.

This young Green Frog dared me to get a good shot of him. I lost the dare.

The sun was reluctant to come out. I was hoping for some intrepid turtles to try to bask in the cloudiness. This happy looking Painted was doing just that!
Look at how choppy the water is!

We got to our favorite turtle-viewing spot and there were some more up... not as many as usual, but still a few Chelonian Warriors!

Pickerel Frogs kept eluding my camera but I got this wee one peeking out from behind a leaf!

We got to a different lake and I was overjoyed to see some Bullfrogs! (Remember, I didn't know I had already photographed two.)
massasoit bulls

On the way out, we encountered this robust Spotted Salamander, giving us 7 species on a cold October Sunday. I'll take it!

Andrea finished up with this postcard quality Redback pic!

So, nothing stupendous, but this late in the year, we are happy to have just gone out into the wilds and done some herping! As the real season winds down, we have to take what we can get. We did go over to Oliver Mills to see if any Water Snakes were basking in the late sun (which had finally decided to come out) but we saw none.

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