Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Where the Babies At? 8-27-2016

Another day, another attempt to see hatchling turtles and baby snakes. We got off to a late start, however, because we were going to watch a kitten for a friend for the weekend... an 8-week old all-ear cutie-pie. (One that I didn't have time to get pix of...) Would that be our only baby of the day? We headed out a bit after 8 AM and got to our (usually turtle-centric) spot around 9 AM... ready to look around.

Water levels are, of course, low. Still, the edge of a pond gave us our first sighting... a hiding Pickerel Frog.
As stated elsewhere, Pickerels are the August Frog of the Month®  for 2016.

Small Fowler's Toads were abundant. This is but one of many.

Our board lines had again been picked up and placed into a pile. A pile that has been sitting there for over two years. Again, I removed them from the pile of broken picnic tables and put them on the ground. We thought that this spot would be fruitless because of the board disturbance but a Garter was hunting in the dewy grass, probably looking for those toads.

Somewhere nearby, there was a very clean Racer.

Hiking back toward the water, a slither in the brush sure looked like a Ribbon to me. I had to make a valiant lunge to try to capture it to photograph. The Ribbon took exception to that.
Andrea fared much better.
Neither of us nailed a great picture; this will have to suffice.

Flipping in a spent fire-pit in a sandy area got us another toad.
Hey, wait! That's one of our Black-eyed Toads!
We're still trying to understand this mysterious morph... black eyes, translucent bellies and smoother than normal skin. They remind me of those scale-less Bearded Dragons that you see at shows.

This Bullfrog looks positively dumbstruck as well.

Off trail, between ponds, we flipped a large, hidden piece of plywood that held one in-the-blue Garter underneath.
We tried not to bother him.

This Laetiporus mushroom is pretty rad.
Laetiporus sulphureus

Here comes Miss August!

We got to the next pond(s) and went in. What's a couple of soakers when you can get a good perspective on the pond edges? We found a few Bullfrogs... a small one and, well... a smaller one.

Turtles were, as you guessed it, not too easy. We saw no babies in the nesting areas and none in the pond's edges. In fact, in the whole first of two ponds in this section, we saw just one Painter who was quite far away. I tried like hell to get a decent shot because it has a beautiful, red plastron.
I failed on "decent" but you get the idea.

As I headed back out the trail that runs between the two ponds, this Pickerel was the Gatekeeper, holding his ground against my exit.
Until I got too close and he leaped off.

We got out deep into the place, well into the best turtle area. There weren't many to be seen but we got a few fabulous Painters up doing some sun-worshipping.
^The guy on the left was an upload surprise!

Down by a brook that runs from a waterfall to the pond, we saw a small Green Frog enjoying the cool water.

A bit later, Andrea spied a cute Wood Frog!

Notice how the narration has fizzled a little here? That's because somewhere around the turtles, I had become so fatigued that I could barely move my legs. Plus, I was a moron and had worn Chuck Taylors on my feet with no socks in anticipation of walking in the water. So my feet hurt and I was full on exhausted. Not sure what has come over me lately. I completely lost my steam... again. Must be getting old. We went back to a spot we'd already hit and I laid down on a shady dock while Andrea searched the pond's edge. I flashed back to my childhood... cool breeze while I lay outside, sun shining on my face and tree branches throwing shadows across my eyelids. Very pleasant.

But I had to stand up eventually. Knowing I'd be no good to flip anything else, I said to Andrea, "From here on out, we just have to keep our eyes open." No sooner had I said that than a new Garter child went trucking across the paved path.

Our last animal photo of the day was this August Frog of the Month® sitting in a tree. Sort of.

We'd heard that there was a downpour during the night that was super-heavy... for about 5 minutes. The evidence was present... wet morning grass, ponds a bit more full than three weeks ago (about 3' less shore on one pond), flowing water lines in the sand, and healthy looking frogs. While we're still suffering from a drought, it wasn't as bad as last time.

So, nothing gangbusters this day... no hatchling turtles and just one cheeky baby Garter, but we were out, we were together and we enjoyed ourselves. Except for the sore feet. I walked the last mile to the car barefoot.


  1. !Qué belleza !..Las fotos son muy lindas y muestran muy bien a los animalitos...se siente todo el amor y respeto que ustedes sienten por éllos. Un beso Martha