Friday, September 12, 2014

Another Plymouth County Sunday 9-7-2014

This Sunday was supposed to be cooler than the day before; sweltering isn't too strong of a word to use for Saturday. For that reason, we'd decided that a trip to Plymouth County to look for Hogs and Boxes would be better on the cooler day. We'd hoped our friend Matt was going to be able to go with us but Sunday was out. He had instead gone to a Hog/ Box spot on that hot ol' Saturday... and got a gorgeous Hognose! So much for our planning and reasoning!

Needless to say, we saw no Hogs of Boxies on Sunday. But we did see a few nice things at our destination, a huge National Forest in Plymouth County.

Water levels were low. This made checking out a rock-strewn pond side easier. I had always wanted to stop at this part to look for Nerodia but never had. This seemed like a good time. Our first herp was a small Fowler's Toad.

Bullfrogs were ever present!

Andrea flipped a small, dark Green Frog!

So, no Water Snakes but plenty of Anuran Allure! There was plenty more to come when we hit the bogs. Greens, Bulls, and Pickerels!
This had been a Hog spot for us last year but we saw no snakes at all. We did manage to startle a young Painted Turtle but couldn't get a picture before he hid beneath the water.

We went to another spot to look for salamanders and snakes. Heading down some steps to the water, I startled a large Garter and something else that made it to the water. I still had my eye on the Garter but getting a picture was tough.
I hate to give any credit to litter but I knew the snake was near the bottle and I couldn't see her in the viewfinder because of the the sun, so I focused on the bottle. She then crawled up into an impossibly small crack in a retaining wall. She just disappeared!

At a nearby pond, Andrea spotted the find of the day... three Red Bellied Cooters were floating in a secluded pond like manatees! They were huge individuals, too!
This was a very exciting find; Rubriventris are endangered in this state.

At our next spot, also a known Hognose (and Green Snake) hike, we saw nothing but Fowler's Toads. And a TON of them at that! We had admittedly become very tired and a bit slap-happy. We kept pointing at them and saying, "you're a toad... you're a toad..." I did pick one up and give it a good sniff.
Smelled like a toad.

So yeah, the tiredness of the week had caught up to us. We headed out but not before making one last stop (yes, at another Hog spot) and I got a decent shot of four basking Painted Turtles.

So we didn't get our targets (do we ever?) but we saw lots of great animals anyway! Seven species! I did snap a few bird pictures but they all turned out to be "got-its" so my Big Year remains at 93.

As I write this on a Friday, we have been out a little bit during the week but have photographed no herps. (I saw one large Garter but couldn't get a shot.) I'll admit, as the weather cools and the nights become chilly, my cold weather depression starts to kick in. Yes, I am starting to feel desperate already...

I hate the Northeast!

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