Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Herping on our day off... 7-11-2014 in Brimfield

In addition to our love of herps, we both love junk. Antique junk, old junk and junky junk. We hadn't been to the Brimfield Antique Show in many a year so, since it fell on our vacation for a change, we thought we'd check it out instead of herping. But since you can never really take the herping out of the herper, we took our cameras.

We parked in our usual lot upon arrival and there was plenty of stuff to flip, but we came up empty. A stream near the parking field had a few rocks but we also saw nothing there... but we heard a Green Frog! At any rate, we shopped and looked at vintage clothes, comics, toys, glass stuff and the like, but didn't buy too much. I was hoping for a nice project guitar or something (as if I don't have enough already!). We perked up a bit when we saw this big Bullfrog sitting in a stream right in the middle of all of the antique action!
Brimfield, MA 7-11-2014

So, we looked around and called it a day by 4 or 4:30 PM and headed to Stockbridge... Wells State Park to be exact. We'd heard that the potential for rare species was present and we figured that, since we were there, we'd check it out. We poked around and flipped for a while with no luck until Andrea snapped this shot of a small Green Frog!

Heading towards the lake, we flipped this chubby American Toad.

Down by the water (which was coming in in waves due to a motorboat) there were some flat rocks and I flipped this Beach Garter!
Good sized (about 28") but she would not pose for a picture!
We let this beautiful but tough cookie go and she went right back to her soggy rock.

Further up, we saw a Redback Salamander!

We had chosen to walk up Mountain Trail despite the fact that we'd been on our feet in the sun all day for about 7 hours. You know, it wasn't the hilly inclines or the root-filled path. It was the mosquitoes!!! They were AWFUL!! As soon as we turned a corner and ascended, they descended upon us! It was miserable! Andrea did not have her skeeter jacket with her (it might have been too hot for one anyway...) and I wasn't going to wear one without her. Every time we stopped for anything, hundreds swarmed all over, despite our being sprayed down. So, we photographed our finds very quickly. Like this lovely Red Eft!

Hey, a Wood Frog! Quick take the picture while we still have blood!

In truth, it was only a short part of the hike that was so infested, maybe about 30 or 40 minutes worth, but it's fair to say that I was pushed to the point of insanity... Andrea might say I went well beyond it. At any rate, it sucked but not enough to miss this two-pack of Red Spotted Newts at different developmental stages.

As we exited the forest and the 'skeeters, Andrea found our last herp... another nice Redback.

We had found six species here in roughly two hours, which isn't bad at all, and the habitat is excellent for some of the tough to find species that are said to be here. The place definitely needs further exploration!

On the way out, Andrea was pointing and saying "what's that?". I thought she was pointing at my parking sticker for some bizarre reason but she was in fact pointing beyond... out the window... at this.
Common Porcupine

A Common Porcupine was foraging just a few feet from us, then scooted up the tree!
Common Porcupine
Common Porcupine

Well, there's something that you don't see every day! And it was a perfect mammalian end to a day that we weren't going to herp.

As if such a day could ever exist!

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