Monday, May 9, 2016

May Messes with our Minds. May 7 & 8, 2016

We always knew that we were going to have to pay for the mild Winter we had this year. Sadly, payback has been coming at the beginning of May. Cold and rain during the time of year when things should be up, moving and thriving. On top of that, lots of non-herping responsibilities have been rearing their heads. May is shaping up to be a real poop-fest. Weather and other crap aside, we still needed to get off our butts and walk a bit so, since it wasn't raining on Saturday morning, we decided to hit a Norfolk County place to look for frogs. The weather has sure been feeling like frog weather.

It was a balmy 52° by noon, breezy and the sky was thick with clouds. We hit the trail and hoped for the best. It was raw and cold. Period. I went off trail to peek into some pools hoping to see a Spotted Turtle or something, hiding out under the water. The last thing I expected to see in the cool 52° clouds was a Water Snake. But there she was, trying to bask, despite no sun at all.
Naturally, I worried that she might be frozen to the spot but no... she quickly slid into the water as I approached.

Further along, we saw a Redback hanging out under a very moist log.

We were flipping for more salamanders when we got another big surprise.
When I say this Dekay's Snake was small, I mean small.

This tiny Redback was exceptionally beautiful.

The rain started back up and got pretty heavy for a while so we carried on, hoping that it would stir up some frogs. That is, after all, what we were looking for. While searching, I got my 85th bird on the year, a Rose-breasted Grosbeak.
Rose-breasted Grosbeak #85

We went up and around and to and fro but saw no other animals. After having put in over three hours and 4+ miles, Andrea finally spotted our first frog... a beautiful Leopard Frog.
If you're going to see just one frog, it might as well be a gorgeous Leopard.

And that was that. Considering we hadn't even planned to go out because of the weather, we didn't do too badly.

The next day was Mother's Day and we drove through the cold rain to spend some time with Andrea's folks. Cake... pizza... ice cream. It was all good. Much to our surprise, the sun came out at about 3:30 PM. We started itching to leave to try to hit a spot on the way home. And we did.

We got to our local spot in the late afternoon, while the temps had hit about 64°. The sun was doing its best to stay in front of the clouds. When we pulled in, we noticed our friend Ryan's car. We hurried in and caught up with him. He'd had the same idea... see if the sun brought anyone out.

It appeared that it hadn't. It was a crap-shoot at best, but we were hoping. There were some lovely Redbacks around, one of which looked a lot like this:

We were walking along a rock-sided brook, getting ready to give up... it was about 5PM anyway, when Andrea pointed out this Water Snake, trying desperately to warm up in the waning sun.
He's got a bum eye so the vitamin D will do him good.

That was a bonus snake for sure.

Now that we're back to work today, the weather has turned nice. We might get out sometime during the week, I hope, but until then, we're praying for a mild weekend. May is for herping and everything seems to be trying to stop us!


  1. but the tiny tiny sneakie............ so very tiny cute little sneakie

  2. En ese lugar no podes recostarte a descansar un ratito de la caminata, GUAU!!!Hermoso todo como siempre,Un beso Martha