Monday, July 21, 2014

Vacations have to end some time... 7-13-2014

It was the last day of our vacation and we were home, tidying up the house and being lazy. I thought that is how the day was going to go. Then Andrea told me to get ready for herping. We at least owed ourselves a walk around Ponkapoag. I agreed to it, though it was pretty late on a hot day and our chances of encountering anything was slim. We got there at 1:30 PM...

Sure enough, we didn't see any living  herps on the first half of the hike. The Boardwalk through the bog is officially the half way mark around the pond. Should we bother going in?

Well, the thought of high-bush blueberries got the better of us, so we went in for a spell. We turned back at "the veldt", an open sunny area. On the way back, Andrea made a beautiful discovery... it was a Water Snake sighting!
It was a tricky area to get a decent photo... this is the best I could muster:
A beautiful Sipedon for sure! That made it worth leaving the house! Better than blueberries (which weren't ready).

We checked out a hill that we usually check since we found a Four-Toed Salamander up there before. They're tough to find in this park... only two ever that I can think of. There was nothing 4-toed there but on the way down, we saw this Garter Snake!

We photographed him and as he crawled away, we noticed another one right there!
Andrea caught him for close-ups... and paid with her blood!
Excitable little guy! We released him and he bumped into yet another Garter who skittered away unphotographed.

Back on the trail and ascending a hill, I went to flip a log when a wee Garter darted away! We calmed it down for photos. I always talk about how variable Garters can be... check this out... three different amounts of sun; None, full and some.

This little guy was a good ambassador of snakedom... two teenage girls were coming down the trail and ooh'd and ahh'd him and one held him for a photo... her first ever snake handling!

Back into a shady area, we flipped a snoozing Ringneck!
Pale little guy, but very beautiful.

We got to the camp area and a woman who always talks with us about snakes was there again with her (grand?)son. We told her about the snakes we'd seen that day. Then we flipped a very excitable Garter!

This next Garter (also flipped) shows just how tough these guys are. This wall is a place where people sit to change their shoes and such. This poor guy was probably in between two rocks or something. He healed beautifully, but he has a hunchback!
His movement was fine, he just has a disfiguring hump.
There is a scar below that spot on his chest.

There was one more snake there... a good sized Garter basking way out of reach in Five O'Clock Charlie's place.

OK, I'm glad I got off of my ass and went herping. This was pretty great! Of course at the Two-Lined stream, Andrea had flipped and missed a Two-lined Salamander and I had missed a young Green Frog, but we were OK with just snakes! Then on the way out, Andrea found this Pickerel Frog to add an amphibian!

Not only a great herper and smart, but pretty damn good looking too!

We feel that we ended our week of herping on a very positive note. We didn't find anything crazy rare, but we saw lots of beautiful snakes (and a frog!) and got to spend some time together in nature before we had to return to the horrible war-zone that is... work.

No comments:

Post a Comment