Friday, June 17, 2016

Nerodia Fashion Show. 6-12-2016

After the previous day's all-day excursion, we were lucky to get out at all on Sunday. Plus, I had made a commitment to be a part of a guitar fashion show for Mike's Monster Guitar that Sunday afternoon. We chose a nearby spot to walk through for a couple of hours... the one that we became so familiar with during the winter months.

It sure was a nice day out and by noon, it was sunny, warm and beautiful. Animals were probably all thawed out and feelin' fine by this time. It took some time (and a healthy dose of fresh springtime stinging nettle) before we saw our first snake, a Garter huddled up next to a log.

Out at the sunnier, rocky, brook-side area, I saw a muddy Painted Turtle sitting atop some muck. I focused and he started oozing down...
He had quickly pushed himself down into the mud for reasons only he knows.

We saw many speedy Garters and, as expected, they were too quick to get a camera on, much less our hands. This one took a long enough respite to be photographed.

It hasn't been a stellar Water Snake year for us. Sure, we had the oddball Winter ones and have seen a few since but we haven't had good numbers. We have friends who have been scoring plenty, though, so we know they're out there. We have just been striking out. That's why, when Andrea saw one slithering along the rocks along the side of the brook, I made a quick grab for some pictures.
I'm quite fond of that last shot... well worth the nasty musking I got.

Along the other side of the path, we got to a rock where I had flipped a Water Snake before, one that had given me a slashing nip. So, that is known as slashing bite rock. As we approached, we saw a large Nerodia crawling away from it. Ms. Slashing Nip herself? I didn't get a slashing bite but I got more musk. Gorgeous snake here, bro.
See? Supporting the body.

Peeking under the side of slashing bite rock, I could see a coil. I could not focus the camera on it so I worked said coil out...
A starting-to-shed Water Snake.

Damn, two snakes under that rock. I wonder how many could fit. I tipped it up.
Three more. I had to be very careful, though, as I could have crushed one with a false move. One of these ones slithered off but the other two looked a lot like this.

OK, Six Water Snakes makes up for a lot. It had become evident, however, that I would be modeling a guitar while stinking badly of Nerodia musk.

We went further up, right to the river. Turtles were our goal. A few hearty Painted Turtles made our efforts worthwhile.

Garters had been handing us our asses all day. Warmed up and fast, we saw a half dozen that eluded our cameras. Andrea nailed this one, but good, though.

From about 30 feet above and away from the bank of the brook, I saw a lump in the mud. Rock?

On the way back, a large Nerodia had just come out of the water. This is more than likely that first biting rock gal. Pretty as a picture.

This Snapper was foraging at the edge of the brook.
It is completely unlike the begging snappers at the cemetery. As I stepped closer for a better camera angle, it shot off into the murky depths.

Our last sighting was a lovely Garter who was hanging out next to the path.

We had to hurry by this point. We got home and I scrubbed at my musky hands (all but in vain) and changed my clothes and we made it to the event on time, saw some friends, heard some music and I got to model a cherry early 60s Supro.

But I still stunk of Nerodia musk.