Friday, April 4, 2014

A Five Garter Lunch! 4-4-2014

A cold Friday, today is. 45°. Off and on sun, though. I had errands to do but I figured that I'd swing by a nearby place to see if anyone was basking in the sun. It is, after all, April now.

OK, post office, dentist, tailor... NOW I can herp. Unfortunately, the sun was behind the clouds now so my chances were diminished. I also had to park illegally, kind of creating a new space. Lets just say, I hope those "premises under surveillance" signs are just there to scare you.

There were two guys with off leash dogs there and the pups were running all over... into the water that I wanted to check for eggs and just being nutty. I went ahead, saying that I wanted to get to the snake area before the dogs did. "Oh yeah, they chase snakes all the time."

I got up to Sly's area and looked around. From another direction, a woman with 5 more dogs came. There were now 7 dogs right in front of a sure Garter Snake den. "Oh yeah, this one eats snakes." Great. Sure enough, I saw a fairly large Garter slide along in front of me. I grabbed it and held onto it before the dogs saw. It musked the bejeezus out of me when I saved its life!
The original two dog guys were cool, asking what the snake ate and stuff. Then one said "Last Friday, over by those rocks around the corner, there were tons of them." Ooh! Thank you for the tip, my good sir! I released the nice (roughly) two-footer and got an in situ shot before nudging it into the brush.

I checked other den sites with no luck, then headed over to the spot the guy had seen "a ton". Almost immediately, I saw this lil cowflop!
He was feisty, too! When I got up in his grille for some close-ups, he struck the camera. He reached for my finger once, but it was more of a kiss.

And then I saw two more!
A dog came over to see me when I was photographing this guy. I told him he wasn't welcome, cute though he was.

I explored around the area a bit and on the way back out to the path, ol' bitey (I think) had crawled over toward the hill. I moved him out of the way and he struck this pose, which I thought was photo-worthy.
I'm not positive it's the same snake, but I don't feel right claiming it as a new one, so my count was at four.

On the way back, near Sly's mound, the big guy was on the crawl again. I'm pretty sure I know where an entrance to this den is.

I took a walk along the top of the hill. Now, this one wasn't the big guy again!
In fact, we'll be able to recognize this one again... he has a cool white spot on his noggin!

On the way out, I couldn't help but flip "Old Reliable" the rock. True to its name, a Spotted Salamander fell out of a crevice in the rock!

And that is how I spent my lunch hour.

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