Friday, May 20, 2016

To the North. 5-15-2016

Despite Saturday's sun and warmth, this Sunday was cool again. We were heading North to New Hampshire to visit the NH Sheep and Wool fest, a yarn loving tradition. It was windy and chilly when we got there in the late morning. That's OK, we huddled in the warm barns, fondling yarn and scritching sheep noggins, making the best of the temps. Outside, we managed to flip one Redback under a rock.

After shopping for a while and eating some Apple Crisp, we headed out. Our plan was to hit a spot in Essex County, MA, right up near the NH border. It has become tradition. This spot, a rail trail that cuts through marshland, is wonderfully abundant with Garter Snakes. Even though it was still cool (the temps never hit 60°), we figured the warm rocks might still bring some sirtalis.

We were right. We quickly turned up this little guy.

A flipped tie produced a scramble of Garter bodies. Here are three of them.
They all crawled into Andrea's pocket.
Sorry about all of the big-pink-hands shots... the snakes were more warmed up than we'd expected.

A small quiet pond spot that is formed right off the river has had some other herps for us before and today was no different. Here's a dirty-faced Bullfrog.

A short stack of Painted Turtles.
I was pretty stealthy but that little guy on the bottom was totally on to me.

Back out on the Garter trail, I flipped a crazy rock and we got a four-pack bouquet.

This teeny coil never even knew we were there. Sleeping the sleep of the blue.

Goodbye, beloved pants. Rusty wood screw says "screw you!"
The scrape is fine, by the way.

One more feisty Garter.

At the far end of this trail, there is an open, marshy pond where we have seen turtles and water snakes. It was getting kind of late but isn't that a shell out there?
Imagine our surprise when we looked at our shot and saw that second noggin behind the Painted Turtle! (Just what was that Painter doing with his back leg?)

The Painter slid off (even though we were easily 50 feet away) revealing not only our first Spotted Turtle for this place but our first in Essex County.
We always said it looked like good Spotty habitat.

Heading back, we flipped a small wisp of a Redback.

Sure it was cool... far cooler than we like at this time of year, but how can you complain when you see so many lovely animals? Not a bad couple of hours there!


  1. yes i am still worried
    and also i got turtle envy

  2. Imaginate un ramillete de viboritas envueltas en un hermoso papel festivo jaja!!!un beso Martha