Sunday, March 23, 2014

Mad Marchness 3-22-2014

So, it was supposed to be fairly nice on Saturday, with things turning to rain by evening. Good! We're ready for migration! Bring on the Spotted Salamanders! We decided to go poke around Borderland, to see if any of the vernals showed any signs of being ready.

We got there a bit before noon, with my prediction of "3 herp species". That would be Two-Line,  Redback and... what?

It was warm in the sun... definitely over 50°. We checked all of our Water Snake and Garter Snake places to see if any noggins were poking out, but no such luck. Until we got to the spot where we saw a couple of Garters basking last year on March 24th... a mere 363 days ago. While peeking over a log into a pond, I saw some movement and we'd found our first snake of 2014! A slim but beautiful Eastern Garter Snake!
First Northeast Snake of 2014!

Of course, we saw and photographed many snakes during our trip to Florida earlier this year but frankly, that was cheating. Finding snakes in Florida in January is like finding cold up here in January. This Garter is our first snake in the Northeast, and we love it to pieces!

The water level was pretty high, as you can see here at our favorite Nerodia place at Borderland.
It's nice to see the water running, but it was going to be tough to make good on our Two-Lines in these rapids. Flip a frog? Forget about it! It would be gone with the current! Also, many other spots looked like this:
And when the sun went under and the sprinkles started, it got damn cold!

I was having a helluva time with birds too. It was very windy so there was a constant whoosh in my ear. That didn't help. We got pretty chilled and headed out. I wanted to take a peek for a Two-Lined Salamander in the stream on the way out, rushing water or not. There were two possible stones to flip in the water. The first had nothing, but the second had this Stubby Malone!
I'm glad I was able to procure him because a crowd had gathered to see what the crazy bald guy was doing on his hands and knees at water's edge. We showed off our Two-Lined Prize. This shot shows his beautiful, delicate markings.

The sun had come out again and it warmed back up, so we decided to go check out the mansion on the grounds, in hopes of finding good places to seek herps in the warmer climes. We also wanted a Redback! They were absent this day and I can't figure out why! They've been tough this year!

This "pool" area holds promise for frogs!

Rocks in the sun... always a promising sight.

This cool bench looked way better once Andrea sat on it!

On the way to the car, I finally added a bird to my Big Year- #34, a Black-capped Chickadee!
#34 Black-capped Chickadee (Poecile atricapillus)

So, I guess my third species had to be a bird because nothing else was up this day! But we found a Garter and that makes the winter wait worthwhile. It had been 5 months and one day since I last saw a wild snake up here. (But who's counting?) The upcoming week looks cool, but we're hoping for Salamander movement next weekend... the official start of the herp season! But thank you, Sir Talis, for helping us out of our funk a bit early!


  1. ¡Chicos ,ya están otra vez en su salsa.ja.ja!!!!!Un beso x2 Martha

    1. ¡Sí! La primavera ha comenzado y los animales están despertando! Estamos despertando también! jajaja!! XXOO!