Monday, April 27, 2015

SKUNKED! 2015 Limps On...

It is with heavy heart that I have to recap three days worth of herping in one post, but that is the case. And it's going to be a short post, too. The weather is... well... here it is.

We took Friday, April 24th off because we wanted to go check out the Chiller Theatre show in New Jersey that night. We decided to take a quick walk through Cutler on the way and be on the road by noon. Sadly, it was only 50°. But the sun was up and warm and we figured Racer Alley held some promise. On the trail along the way, we flipped a pair of Redbacks.

We made our way along the Alley but it was very cool, especially with the wind. We managed to unearth a wee Dekay's Snake, however.

That was it, but we felt very fortunate to have found anything with the short time allotted and the cool climes. We drove to Chiller, met some friends, saw some celebrities and had a lot of fun. I told Ann-Margret I loved her in Swedish. I almost added to my mammal list with The Hedgehog, but figured that was cheating.

The drive home was long and uneventful but I did it like a fucking champ! We got in after 3:30 AM... over 21 hours awake! All hail Diet Coke and excitement! Lights out by 4:30. And... out the door by 11 AM because we had to herp!!! We wanted to check out a nearby spot in the Blue Hills.

It was still cool, about 55°, but in the sun it was warm. This Painted Turtle was enjoying a Saturday morning sunbath.
Off to a good start!

Two and a half miles later, we finally flipped our next herps... a few Redbacks.

I mean, the sun was warm! But it just wouldn't stay out. We walked along forever, through such choice habitat as this:
... nothing.

This summed it up as we walked the two and a half miles back with no animals...

Oh well, I was completely spent anyway. I put out the light at 8:54 PM that night and didn't get out of bed until 9:07 AM Sunday morning. We tried to get ready fairly quickly; we wanted to make our first trip to Boyden of the year. Unfortunately, Matt and Teá were otherwise engaged, but Matt was whetting our appetites by PMing us photos of snakes they had seen. Dekay's! Garters! We hurried ourselves south to Taunton.

Boyden looked no worse for wear post-Winter. Surprisingly, the garage roof hadn't completely collapsed from snow. We'd have put money on it being flattened.
Flipping in there is an adventure.

Cool though it was, we were sure we'd find something. A glance at the sky told us there would be no sun, however... black clouds threatened. Andrea flipped a Garter in the Garden but it was able to sneak deep into the wall with no picture. Oh well. Where there's one, there's more. Except there wasn't.

No frogs, no turtles, no snakes, no toads. The sun that Matt and Teá had enjoyed in town was nowhere to be seen here. Boyden was barren. We are starting to wonder if some of our animal populations actually survived this harsh Winter. Great Meadows, Fowl and now Boyden have been conspicuously light on herps. Thank goodness for Redbacks. Anyone who isn't a fan of the most common land vertebrae in the Northeast US, turn back now.

Here are some of our Redback friends from the day.

As Maurice Chevalier once said, "Thank heavens for leetle Redbacks."

Another 4 hours of searching in the cold. (It never did hit 60°) We went to Mandarin Buffet (sorry, Matt) to eat the pain away.

While 2015 continues to suck, I'm starting to wonder if I'm just too old.


  1. Damn! Sorry about the losing streak. Saw a couple of racers in the Hills last Wednesday myself, and a really pretty ruddy-colored ribbon on Saturday- a species I've only ever seen once before, down in Sandwich. These were both in the Quincy section. I must be stealing you guys' mojo. You're welcome to have it back whenever.

    1. Haha!! No, you need to keep your mojo going! We just need one good day to perk back up! It will happen. But man, it has been COLD!