Friday, May 16, 2014

Friday on my Mind 5-16-2014

It has occurred to me that neither Andrea nor myself have mentioned a very important event for this year. On Friday, May 9th, we visited our friends up the street. They are kindhearted and let us flip stones in their garden wall. It was here where, at dusk, we found our first Dekay's Snake of 2014.

So, with that mistake righted, here I am on May 16th. I had jury duty for the first time in about 25 years this morning. It was warm and all I could think about was being out in nature. The Jury Pool is anything but. I got called to the courtroom and was in the jury box for impaneling. It was a murder case. Oh fuck. The defendants could see me. And I have a bit of a memorable face.

At any rate, they excused me and I got to leave at about noon. The skies were dark but I figured if I hurried home, I could get over to the Blue Hills to explore a bit. I did and I got there a little after 1 PM. Right away a snake, probably a Garter, zoomed into the brush. This place had grown up quite a lot since my last visit. It was too cloudy for turtles, but this lovely Green Frog was "basking".

I then missed a photo-op with a good sized Water Snake, and another Garter before this Garter stopped long enough for a portrait.

I carried on, though the rain was starting up a bit. A 3 foot Water Snake cruised across the path. Hard to believe that something so large disappeared so quickly but the new growth around the edges was really working to their advantage. Then I missed another Garter.

I had to break out my raincoat. I was confident that the rain wouldn't deter too many frogs or Nerodia, so I carried on. At one point, I saw three deer darting through the woods. I went on in their direction, but I got distracted by this American Toad!

Then I flipped a couple of Redbacks!

It should be noted that, for the first time this year, mosquitoes were out in force. Every time I stopped to photograph an animal, I was risking complete blood drainage. It put a slight cramp in my style.

My Anuran hopes were realized when I saw my first ever Blue Hills Northern Leopard Frog!
We had heard them here but this is my first visual encounter.

The Leopard was my turn-around point. It was raining increasingly harder and I was getting eaten alive. While trying to high-step it outta there, this large Bullfrog was sitting directly in the middle of the path!
He never moved as I got up in his grille for photos and he never moved as I walked around and over him. He must know what he's doing. He is a big 'un!

I saw the stripey slither of another Garter Snake. Taking no chances, I caught this guy for a photo.
Good sized and kinda pissed, I'm glad I broke my no-touch rule (I try to not catch them without Andrea) for this guy.

So, as we gear up for another fun weekend, I'm glad I got two hours to get myself in shape!


  1. I never knew you had a "Please don't touch" rule. I'm sure you see what I did there.

    1. I keep on shakin' if I touch 'em too much!