Sunday, June 29, 2014

Friday we've got herping on our minds. 6-27-2014

Since we will be unable to herp on Sunday, we decided to take a quick look around some places in Suffolk County after work on Friday. Why not, right? So we got to a nearby hot-spot at a bit after 6 PM and hit the trails.

The place is very dry. Man, we need some rain! Salamanders would be tough tonight. Many of the vernals were already dry. It's going to be a hard year for tadpoles. But some big slabs of concrete came through with our first snake of the night, a young Garter who sneered at the camera.

We put him down and tried for a nature shot...
Zip! Too slow...

Another slab gave us a more cooperative specimen.

While the water was very low, it wasn't completely absent. This Bullfrog was enjoying a cool swim.

The adjoining park, which is usually pretty thick with humanity, was pleasantly quiet. The thousands of flippable stones beckoned us, but we decided to only flip the low-hanging fruit. You can't flip everything! The first one got us a lovely, plump American Toad!

This place is all about Garters and we didn't have to wait long before one was flipped.

Another flip near the brook got us this coiled up Water Snake.
Andrea removed it before we replaced the rock and commented on how mellow it was!

Another small Garter.

I flipped a large rock and saw nothing, but Andrea could see coils near where the rock still hit the ground. She removed this battle-scarred Garter! Check out the scar on the back!

She was also missing the tail from about 1/2" from the vent on down! Youch!

The next rock was extraordinary. I lifted it and was greeted by a heap of coils! I reached in and grabbed a handful. I came up with a good sized, high-red Water Snake and a big ol' (probably pregnant) Garter Snake, while another large Garter got away. The Nerodia wasn't like Andrea's at all... mellow is NOT the word!
Bitey, but a stunning animal!!

Andrea gently held on to the chubby Garter while I wrestled the art-critic Water Snake.

So as dusk set in, we headed back towards the car. We'd hoped to see some frogs frolicking in the twilight, but only this mouse greeted us.

And like Baloo in The Jungle Book, I found a nice tree to scratch my back on.

Hey, not bad for two hours on a Friday night! Thai food followed, which is always a great thing!

No comments:

Post a Comment