Thursday, October 16, 2014

Time is Taut in Taunton 10-12-2014

Warmer. Even Sunny. We couldn't decide which of our two favorite places in Taunton to hit. So we decided to quickly hit them both. We grabbed Matt S to join us. There would be Mandarin Buffet involved too. Let's go!

We hit Boyden first. I figured that getting there early (10ish) would let the landscape warm up as we herped. Unfortunately, things were still pretty cool then. We managed a Redback, though.

No turtles were out at a Cheloneriffic spot, but that might have been a good thing... perched above the water was our (finally!) Big Year #94, a Red-shouldered Hawk!
#94 Red-shouldered Hawk (Buteo lineatus)

We were actually quite a way up the trail before we spied our first basking Painted Turtle, who would only show me his ass.

We did find a few more Redbacks, too... one of which looked exactly like this:

We got to a dried vernal in hopes of seeing some spots... Spotted Newts and Spotted Salamanders. No sals, but we scored a few newts!
That second one, found by Matt, has an overbite.

Here's another pretty Redback.

It had become very warm in the sun and we were wondering why we hadn't seen any snakes yet. Surely some would be up on such a lovely October day! Sure enough, Andrea and Matt teamed up and landed this young Garter Snake!

Even the basking spots at the dam were turtle-free, but that probably had more to do with the dozens of water fowl taking up all of the spots. There was a lovely Two-Lined Salamander below the falls, however.

Andrea spotted this good-sized Wood Frog as we moved forward.

We checked out some fields that have had snakes in the past but saw none this day. We saw some cool insects, though. Like a Chinese Mantis,

And a Wolf Spider carrying her babies.

Back to the beginning, the Painted Turtles had finally come up and many were practicing yoga, especially that second guy!

Our last herp here was a bright Pickerel Frog!

On the way out, this chubby Raccoon was lurching across the street. Hopefully, it is OK... they really shouldn't be active in the day.

We went over for Mandarin Buffet and filled our gullets with tons of beige food! Many many thanks to Matt who picked up the bill!! Yay!!!

We got over to Massasoit by about 3:30. I was hoping that some of my boards had been warmed in the sun but it was pretty shady over that way. Andrea found a small Fowler's Toad though!
I thought that maybe we had seen our last toad earlier this month, so this guy made me very happy!

Here's a large, dark Pickerel that was over near my boards.

Look out... species #9 on the day... Matt found this small Green Frog!

A large, heavy rock on a beach was flipped to reveal another Fowler's Toad... looking very serious.

Herps were starting to be at a premium. No turtles were out by now. (Most of the choice basking spots were in the shade.) There were some cool insects, though. Like an American Lady! (Thanks, TeĆ”!)
Painted Lady

And a couple more Chinese Mantises.

It's pretty but the year seems to be ending on us rapidly.

Our tenth species of the day, a nice Bullfrog, seems to be wistfully looking to the future, knowing his days in 2014 are numbered. Next Spring he'll be back.

Matt spotted a beer can stuck way up on fallen tree over the water. That means some fool went through a lot of effort to litter. He went to retrieve it.
Unfortunately, many of his friends have since been making fun of this picture.

Our last herp of the day was a Redback.

So, will the Garter be our last snake of 2014? The Fowler's our last toad? We don't know but we're not giving up until the fat man sings... and my voice is shot so it's going to be quite a while!!


  1. Fantastic blog, Mike. I'm loving the photography!

    1. Many thanks, my good sir! This is the stuff that makes me happiest!