Monday, June 1, 2015

Laying the Last Day of May. 5-31-2015

Surely after being up really late and getting less than five hours of sleep would keep us in on this rainy Sunday. Well, not if you want to see nesting turtles. We headed out into the dampness to see if any Chelonian ladies would be lightening their loads. We chose a nearby destination just in case I fell asleep at the wheel.

Sure enough, in the first spot we figured they would be... they were! This shy Painted gal had probably finished up and was resting before her return home.

This one was doing just the opposite... she was walking around and eventually headed into the brush and back down to the water area as we watched.

Along a familiar snake path, this girl was skulking along the edge.

I went to the top of a hill to check it out and I was able to eavesdrop on Andrea's efforts from above.

Soon, she called "Snapper! In the path." Sure enough, there was a large lady Snapper in the path. I clumsily headed down the hill.
An old-timer with battle scars.
The conditions seemed safe for both of them for Andrea to get a feel of handling an adult Snapper should the need arise on the roads. She did well despite the Chelydra's protestations.

On we went, seeing more Painted Ladies laying.

I caught Andrea talking to this one...

We got up to a spot where I have boards laid down and there is some cover that has been good for snakes and salamanders. It broke my heart to see that someone, definitely a herper, flipped everything and didn't bother replacing it. Strewn about it was. It really pissed me off and I wondered if I was in any way responsible for this happening to the fucking habitat... the homes of these animals. I mean, I'm not stupid enough to think that anyone actually reads this blog (it is simply for me to keep track of our finds and adventures), but I personally will never mention a location again. Thanks a lot, fuckhead, for throwing boards, logs and debris around in search of whatever the fuck you were looking for. Fuck you. You obviously do NOT get it.

We managed two adorable Leadbacks under what wasn't completely disturbed.

We headed back because I was toast. It was also raining off and on pretty hard. We encountered one more  Painter dropping some children off at the hole.

I hit the grocery store and when we were pulling out, Andrea suggested going to check out another nearby spot. I agreed. We checked it out a bit and I started whining about mosquito bites. Andrea went on without me in hopes of seeing a laying Spotted Turtle. She found none but spied another She-Painter hard at work.

While we were pulling out, Andrea saw something large up on a sidewalk... yes, another Snapper had just completed her 2015 nesting.

It was raining pretty hard but we still went out and got some nice shots of her. She reared up and sided us.

The beauty and the beauty! (The beast took this shot)

So as the Carpenters almost said, Rainy Days and Sundays always bring the turtles up. What a wonderful sight, seeing the next generation of turtles being planted. Lets hope some of them hatch, grow and live to do the same thing one day.

And if any herper that should know better but doesn't sees this... REPLACE EVERYTHING EXACTLY AS YOU FOUND IT! It doesn't take a brain surgeon to figure out that animals prefer their habvitat intact. Fucking moron.


  1. Mike,

    Check in on your blog regularly. It amazes me when people in general disturb sensitive habitat without regard. Visited my two favorite sand plains/pits recently( Western Mass and Middlesex County) and both were completely trashed. I believe most of the time these are individuals unaware (to some extent) of the damage they are causing but to have actual herpers disregard habitat is infuriating. Don't blame you at all for not giving locations.

    -Derek (

    1. Thank you for the words, Derek. Yeah, I'm much more forgiving when it is a fisherman looking for worms than for someone who is supposedly a fan of animals and nature. It's these folks who treat herping as a sport or a competition who have no regard for the animals. It's about their numbers, not about the welfare of the animals.

      That said, it was great seeing turtles out and about. No need to flip them!! :)

    2. I'm pretty sure that I know the sand plans in W. MA you are referring to, and those get trashed mostly by ATVs, people practicing their shooting, and area folks dumping shit illegally in there. I don't think it's incredibly well-known among herpers, but I may be wrong...everyone I know who knows of it never publicly mentions it by name.

  2. I read your blog regularly and really appreciate all the information you give regarding habitats and how to respect them. Posts like this make me stop and wonder how I've treated habitats while out in the woods myself and consider if I've been respectful enough (though I know it wasn't me who moved the boards since I'm in West Virginia, haha).

    My boyfriend and I look for mushrooms in the forest but we always stop to observe anything else we can and I've learned a lot from reading your and Andrea's adventures.

    1. That means a lot to us, Haley. Thank you so much for the kind words.

  3. Laying season is upon us, and that always tends to bring the more careless individuals out in droves. You're frankly much more patient than I would've been.
    People suck man. Luckily turtles don't.