Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Wormtown Dookies Sing This Song... doo-dah 7-10-2015

We woke up Saturday morning pretty unsure of what we wanted to do. It wasn't going to be as all-fired hot as it has been but, playing it by ear, we wound up in Worcester County at a place that we do cold weather herping at. It's one of those places where we say "let's be sure to check this place out in snake season! " So, we did.

We went to a wooded spot first, one that has a beautiful brook running through it that has netted us Duskies and Two-Lines. We think it should be great for Springs. The first 'phibs we saw was a pair of Green Frogs.

We were a bit surprised to see some Redbacks considering the heat of late but there were some there.

I spent plenty of time wading through the brook, flipping and netting and having nothing to show for it. Two 2-lines had escaped my camera and I saw no Dooks (or Springs). Getting back to land, we found a nice, bright Eft.

But that was about it. No snakes and no stream salamanders. We headed back up the road to a favorite spot for stream sals and immediately started seeing plenty of beautiful Dookies!

Andrea even found a Redback practically in the stream.

We were puzzled by the near-absence of Two-lined Salamanders. We finally got a big, gravid one up on land.

One last Dook...

Leaving the car where it was, we decided to take a hike around a nearby pond. On the way there, in a rocky drainage ditch, I flipped a small Garter Snake that was coiled up there. He had a bloody bit coming out of his vent and a thin slice about 2 inches above that. He was recovering from some recent accident. He slithered off normally and we decided to not photograph him out of respect.

While walking around the pond, we kept getting it confused with a place in Brockton and decided that this town, like Brockton, was really not much to our liking. Andrea called Worcester "the Syracuse of Massachusetts". Pretty spot on. We headed back to the car, seeing a bunny on the way... one that let us get very close for a picture.
He seems to be hoping we'll take him out of town.

We regrouped on the way back east and Andrea said she wanted to look for snakes locally before going home. We went over to a spot we had killed it at the week before to see if anything was up. It had become pretty hot again, even though it was the dinner hour by now.

On the way in, there was a Wood Thrush that I just couldn't get a clear shot of. Still, it's Lifer #133 (Bird #86 on the year).
Wood Thrush #86 Lifer #133

We managed to flip a Garter...

And then another...
We brought this guy up for a close-up while we put his roof back.

Last animal of the day was a gorgeous Dekay's Snake... orange sides with a tan racing stripe down the spine. Stunner.

And that was that... a pretty light day. Admittedly, we were still both exhausted from Wednesday on the Cape and the wee hours fun that followed. But any day with Dookies is a day we are happy.

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