Wednesday, June 17, 2015

The Garter They Come. 6-14-2015

After a late night of rock and roll, needless to say, I slept in a bit. But we still had to get out to herp so we headed over to the Bay to look for snakes at a place TeĆ” introduced us to last year. We had seen three kinds there with her, including a Green, so we were excited to go back. Well, maybe not too excited since we didn't get there until almost 2 PM.

It didn't take long for a Garter hat-trick, though one slid off without a picture. The first guy stayed nice and still for us.

The second guy wasn't as cooperative so I caught him and tried to calm him down. It didn't work and this shot of me lifting my hand off of him is all Andrea got before he took off in a flash.
And yeah, the third one was but a slithering sound in the brush... and then it was gone.

Not a bad start, though. We headed toward a cliff that overlooks Boston Harbor. It always seems odd to me when I smell salty air while looking for snakes. This spot is great for snakes but just awful for litter. Hey-bras have pretty much ruined it with litter, broken bottles and graffiti. Garters don't seem to mind as much as me but it still pisses me off.

Peeking over the edge, I saw one of the most beautiful Garters I have ever seen, there amidst the garbage and glass.
Thick, snow-white dorsal stripe, light olive background and head and cinnamon checkers, this is a beautiful animal.
He slid into a small hole in the cliff.

We headed down along the rocky front. Andrea flipped a coiled Garter and picked it up, much to it's consternation.
She released him for a more calm photograph.

Garter skins were all over the place.
WeI flipped a wee, dark one.

When you get too close to the beach, you stop flipping snakes and start flipping crabs.

On the way back up, I saw a Garter poking around the ledge and it slid into a hole, but only after trying to get into this occupied crevice.

All the drunken teens in the world can't destroy the beauty of nature, no matter how hard they try.

We were exploring a cement foundation (that was, of course, littered with beer bottles and glass) and I went down one side to try to see some birds that were being noisy. I think we were being scolded. I saw a Garter there who looked dead, the way his head hung.
I picked him up, prepared for the worst and his tongue flicked out. This guy was sound asleep!
He didn't wake up fully for a bit; when we put him down he still sat there for a while, then sped off.

We next flipped this perfectly round coil.

We reached another beach part and looked around. I checked wrack line, hoping to spy a Dekay (the other species we have seen here). Andrea explored tide pools and found some crabs.

We headed back up and decided to look at the cliff again. Andrea reflipped Bitey.

And then she flipped Blurry, a snake that took off so fast, this is the only shot I could get.

Before we departed, we saw another guy poking around the ledge.

On the way out, we heard this guy crawling through the grass. He musked the hell out of me.

It wasn't until we were almost to the car, on the edge of a beach, that we finally saw our first Dekay's of the day.

That was a quick trip, but very fruitful. It was now after 5 PM, so we were done.

Or were we?

Our route home suddenly took us through a nearby cemetery so, like anyone would, we pulled over to see if our pal the Snapping Turtle was getting up. This Red-ear was heading off to bed, I think.

Sure enough, our friend Mr. Snapper was up prowling around.
Such a cute little face attached to such a massive head! This is the guy we have photographed before, with two white spots on the back of his noggin.
He was flirting with Andrea... again.

This small Painted Turtle looked on and took notes.

This goose was out among the Canada Geese and I thought it must be a piebald mutation or something...
Evidently, it's just a feral Domestic Goose which isn't a real species so I can't call it for my 2015 bird count. Oh well, it's still cool.

Another Snapper was cruising the other side of the pond.

The shadows were getting long and  Bullfrogs had started calling. These two brutes were near the water's edge.

All in all, not a bad day. Double digit Garters and four added species on an afterthought stop at the cemetery. We'll get some Green Snakes next time but until then, we're happy with this day.


  1. Great post as always. I just went through every one of yours from the last 2 months haha. I'm getting ready to post my first actual entry of the year, despite being out a few times. I'm just lazy. Stay tuned!

    1. Great!! I'm looking forward to seeing what you found!