Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Back on the Borderline One More Time Oct. 11, 2015

No reason to use that title, but that Thin Lizzy song is in my head.

The second day of our three day weekend was upon us and we decided to head deep into Middlesex County, almost to the borderline with Worcester County (yesss!) and see if we could be as lucky as we were last year at this time. Last year on October 18th (look it up) we scored thirty snakes here. Of course, we would be without Matt S. today so our chances were much slimmer. The day was in the mid-60s and it was sunny. We got there at roughly 10:30 AM.

We immediately got the frog fix that we had been needing. Though none were posing particularly well, Bullfrogs were all over, and noggins were popping up everywhere.
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While this last guy contemplates a dramatic leap into the depths, another Bull's noggin photo-bombs him.

This squiggly Redback was a tough one to photograph.
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One of our previous day's targets was the Four-toed Salamander. Thus, we were pretty happy to see this one here, kitted out in his Sunday finest.
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It's the first Four-toed we had seen in a while.
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Lead/ Red.
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It took a little while but our first Garter was soon seen motoring across the path. I grabbed him and tried to calm him for a photo. He had other plans.
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He realized we meant no harm.
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This normally turtle-tastic place was being cheap with the chelonians. These three Painteds (of Orient Are) were basking way out there. This is the best I could do.
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Our next herp was an old friend. This 3 foot+, stub-tailed Water Snake has been in our viewfinders before. She is always hanging out on, in or near this abandoned beaver dam.
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There is no need to catch or handle her; she always willingly sits there for her portrait.
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The next dam had another big beauty sunning herself. This one has kept a lot of her red into her adulthood.
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This place was far more crowded that usual, human-wise. Which is to say that we saw about 6 other hikers by now. But that was enough to discourage some of the turtles from basking alongside the slim trails. Frogs weren't as fussy. Here's a Bull.
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This is a huge Green. One of the biggest I have ever seen. I was shocked it wasn't a Bull, as I had first thought.
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Another Bullfrog just down-log from the monster Green.
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As we were walking through the woods, Andrea found a little trucker that I had evidently walked right part.
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Garter goodness makes for dandy thumb rings.
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Further up, a medium-large beauty was foraging in some bushes.
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We completed our loop and decided to circle half-way around again. We would go to the beaver dams and back. It had become quite warm and we hoped for some more turtles. We eventually got our wish with some more Painteds.
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Ms. Stubby was still at her beaver dam. Andrea spotted this little Nerodia squiggler crossing the path.
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Heading back, we saw a duo of Garters goofing off.
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Not too shabby at all. Obviously, we fell a bit short of last October's numbers but seeing anything in New England in October is a treasure. On the way out, we stopped at the entrance to look into a puddle and flip some ties along the railroad tracks. I found a dusty young Garter.
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Andrea found a small Green Frog enjoying the warm mud puddle.
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I could get used to warm October herping. Especially if all of the animals are as beautiful (if dusty) as the ones we saw this day!



4 comments:

  1. a bit early for the xmas references no?

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    Replies
    1. It was by mistake if there is one!

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    2. OH!! Three Painteds! Right. Ah, just being a dolt. I'm one of them thar Christmas haters.

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  2. hahahahahaha........ mike....... i read your blog..... do YOU read your blog?

    ReplyDelete