Sunday, September 21, 2014

Herps on the side. 9-14 & 9-19-2014

We love herping. Given the chance, that's all we would do. But we also have non-herping lives, believe it or not. Sometimes, we have to forego our cold blooded friends and see our warm blooded families. But we always squeeze in what we can!

On Sunday, September 14th, we had a birthday party in the afternoon, so we picked a nearby hike, to spend the morning herping. Unfortunately, it was a very cool morning. Herps would be at a minimum. Fowl Meadow was overgrown and cold... still in the mid-50s when we started in! The water was so low that it was pretty much non-existent.

It took a while before we saw our first herp, a shy Redback!

Always a welcome sight... a Wood Frog!

A few more Redbacks of varying color phases...

It was full-on chilly. Thank goodness for amphibians. Like our next find, a Northern Leopard!
A fatty photographing a fatty!

We walked around for a while, doing the full length and exploring the adjoining area but it remained pretty cool. And we only had a short time before we had to head to the party. (Perhaps it is best that we didn't see and handle any snakes. We have attended many family gatherings stinking of musk; this wasn't going to be one of them!)

On the way out, we spotted another gorgeous Leopard!

Of course, by party time, it was gorgeous and sunny and warm. But we have no regrets... the birthday party was loads of fun!

On Wednesday, 9-17-2014, at 3:45 PM, Sebastian Clayton Barter was born! Here is the the lovely Andrea posing with him!
Sebastian 9-17-2014

So, with a new Grandkid, I took Friday the 19th off to go visit the family upon their return home from the hospital. Since Middleton Pond is somewhat nearby, I thought I'd take a quick walk while they settled and hopefully see a herp,or two. The trouble was, it was 59° and felt even cooler. I was hoping that the many shore-rocks were getting enough sun so I could maybe flip a Water Snake.

First herp, the reliable Redback.

Talk about low water levels... this lake had receded drastically since we were last here. We haven't heard much about low rain levels and such in the news this year, but the proof is in the picture.

My theory was correct, however. The sun was warming the rocks, at least enough for this small, in-the-blue Water Snake!

This small Green Frog was also in the vicinity.

The pond area, oddly enough, had plenty of water, though much of it was under a thick coating of duckweed. This Bullfrog looked like he was sitting atop the layer of plants.

This pretty Pickerel was smart enough to be on shore.

Alongside this pond, there are a few rocks to flip. Under one of them, we flipped a Garter before, so it's a favorite rock. I flipped it and immediately felt a sense of guilt. It seems that while Andrea was toiling away at work, I had just made the best possible flip that a person in New England can make when it's 59° out... a Ringneck and a Milk.
The Ringer was nuts and made photography very difficult!
Like the Nerodia, these two were also in the blue.

Don't look now... I was at 7 species in less than an hour. Oops. I'm so sorry, my dear wife!!

My furthest destination was wrapped in shadows by this time so herping was tough. I did see a yarn-bombed tree, though!

Heading back, I saw a few more 'phibs. Here's a meaty Redback.

And last but not least, here's a very matter-of-fact looking Bullfrog.

Then, I went to visit the Grandkids (!) and make a call to Andrea, confessing both my success and my guilt. It seems she has forgiven me.

For now.

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