Sunday, July 27, 2014

Triple musk Friday! 7-25-2014

Knowing we'll be unable to herp on Sunday, we decided to take a quick hike through Cutler on Friday Night. This plan completely backfired the last time we tried it (no herps) but hope springs eternal. We got there at about 6 PM and hit the trails.

Again, it was pretty quiet. We got to a dirt-bike place and noticed a ramp anchored to the "track" (the "track" is a sandy place favored by nesting turtles. Not a great place for that but turtles never listen to me...). As any good herper would, we flipped the ramp and startled two American Toads, who hopped into the corner!

We searched the rocks and found a nice Racer skin, but no Racers.

On the trail, we saw a Leaf-footed bug.
Acanthocephala terminalis- leaf footed bug
Are those eggs on it's back? I can't find any info on such a thing... anyone?

Andrea somehow spotted this wee one hopping along!

Mud puddles along the trail yielded a couple of Green Frogs.

Darkness was falling and we had to decide how far we wanted to go in, knowing that we still had to make it out before it got too dark. We decided on a clearing before the third boardwalk. We got there and were poking around. I heard Andrea make an exclamation and looked up and she had a handful of snake. As I went over, I said "looks like another big one!" and her hands separated, showing me that in fact it was two Garters!
They both musked her but GOOD!
These two log-flipped Thamnophis made us very very happy, if a bit stinky! We headed back on a foul-smelling Cloud 9.

We found this Green Frog in a mud puddle... he had a vulture eye. You think I'm mad?? Could a mad person get a photograph like this?
It was the croaking of his hideous detuned banjo string!

Dusk had settled and we were in head-lamp mode in the forest. A Wood Frog hopped past. I had missed one on the way in, but got this one! Yeah!

Back out on Racer Alley, we were walking along and I saw a flat Ringneck right on the trail. Bikes fly through here and we've seen a dead Ringneck before. I made an audible "oh no..." and leaned to move the carcass off of the trail. And it started to crawl!! Yay!! It wasn't dead!!
A real beauty too... and over a foot long!
Oh, and it musked us both.

We headed back through the twilight smelly and happy.

Almost to the car, we heard quite a thrashing in the grass. It turned out to be this massive American Toad! Just how old might this bruiser be?
Please note... we added Toad pee to our list of hand-liquids.

We saw some fresh snake poop on the way out, too. I'm not posting the picture. We couldn't find the relieved snake anywhere.

From there, we went to get a sandwich (after scrubbing the still-potent musk on our hands). Then we went to visit a friend in the 'hood. After a few beverages and many laughs, we headed home... flipping a few stones in his garden on the way out. We saw a few Dekay's and made it a Musk Trifecta!

That night's shower couldn't completely remove the evidence of our successful evening. We drifted off to sleep with an olfactory reminder of our fun night wafting in and out of our breathing space.


  1. great pictures. great story. great work.

    1. Thank you, my good sir!! That means a lot!