Friday, September 16, 2016

Lil' Nippers. 9-10-2016

Andrea managed to get out a couple of times during the week after our trip to North Carolina but sadly, I had to work. No problem... I met her after work once and saw a Snapling and a Peeper so I can't complain. Still, I was eager to get out and taste some home cookin'. I chose a place in Essex County for our Saturday jaunt because, it being baby snake season, I wanted to see some baby Nerodia. This place had been good to us a couple of years ago in that respect.

Of course, the drought has continued. Tropical Storm Hermine, which nailed us in NC, had fizzled out when it got up here, so water was even lower than it was last month. The temps were decent and it was overcast, so we figured that it was good snake weather. Indeed, it wasn't long before Andrea spied a long Garter, stretching in a straight line.
A face only a... everything can love.

Andrea saw a shoestring Garter slip away, then I did as well. They were going to be tough, I see. The first pond was extremely low, exposing way more rocks than usual. Under one such rock, this in-the-blue Water Snake was resting.
She's going to be a stunner once the exterior comes off.

I felt a bit bad about disturbing her so the next successful flip, a double, was just photographed and the rock gently returned.
Double your Nerodia pleasure.

Walking up the path, I saw a Peeper land and it very patiently waited while I snapped off thirteen photos before I got a decent one. Thank you, bro.

This American Toad? One shot only, but it captured his distaste for me perfectly.

ATVs were buzzing in the background. One such skeezix was visible at the end of a trail. Hopefully, he'd crash and die before we got to that spot.

We got to the next "pond" and it was merely puddles among the mud. There was barely enough room to fit all of the duckweed. Andrea spotted this medium sized Water Snake that was curled up in the brush, still covered with green.

Turtle tracks in the mud, far better than ghost riders in the sky.
Note the frog noggins sticking up in that shot... here is a Bull Frog close-up.

This Painted Turtle has his Halloween costume all picked out... the drippy green swamp monster. It's got to be hard to bask when A.) there's no sun, and B.) you're covered with a thick layer of muck.
Note the second Painter noggin poking out of the "water".

This small Pickerel was very clean in comparison to everyone around him. That's because he was around the main lake, which was not clogged with green.

The Pickerel was our only animal on the lake, so we turned back to head to the powerline cut. Two more Painters decided to emerge from the green depths to try to catch some non-existent sun.

A couple of ATVs buzzed past us. They weren't even ignorant disrespectful children riding... they were adults who should know better. They nodded at us when they passed. I shot them daggers.

Later along that path, I saw a squiggle and feared the worst...
But never fear; this baby Water Snake was fine! And another was right nearby.
Targets achieved.
We moved them off of the path and Andrea got her first bite of the year as a result.
Ooh, the pain.

Not much further up, another baby Nerodia.
A pretty belly on this wanna-be King Snake.
He gave me a kiss.
So, three babies and no squished ones, despite the idiots on ATVs... we went up to the powerline cut.

Of course, this is where the ATVs and motorbikes run rampant and there were a few dildo-heads already at it... yes, adults. This beautiful Garter was off to the side and we made sure she stayed there.
Andrea had a nice angle for this one...

There wasn't a lot of herp action up on the cut. It was some time before we saw this yearling Water Snake in the grass.
We nudged him away from the path in case dick-brain came by again.

Seriously, what the hell is the attraction to riding vehicles along dirt paths and stuff? I hate driving... is this any different? Thrill-seeking for me is seeing animals, not speeding through their homes on destructive machines. I guess to each his own but I still want to stick branches into their spokes and make them flip and bleed from their ears.

Some light rain started and we thought that might get rid of the fuck-nugget. This baby Nerodia was up there, in a coil, starting to get rained on.
We nudged him a bit and he moved under a rock, safe from the rain, should it get heavy (it didn't) and from the speed-freak-shit-for-brains.

We were almost ready to return to the main trail when there at the entrance sat the helmeted turd-monger. He pulled aside a bit, into the grass to let us go by. Fuck you, vroom-vroom. We got off the path and he sped by, giving us a thank you wave that we ignored. Dip shit.

Guess what he almost hit, but didn't?
Yup, that's his murderous, habitat destroying tread-marks mere inches from this newborn Nerodia. We helped the lil nipper to safety and noticed that he too has a lovely ventral.
That was all we saw here. Three actual kids on vroom-vroom motor bikes came flying into the place as we were almost out. Noisy, fast, disrespectful, annoying and just plain kill-worthy. At least we saw no squashed animals the whole time.

We got ice cream. It was very very good. Then, heading back to the highway, we saw a pull-off that overlooked the river. Never noticed that before. We turned back (stopping first at a yard sale so we could finish our ice cream) and went to poke around.

Near the edge of the trail, a nice Garter slid away... cool. This place has at least one snake! We went further along the trail and it ended at the water. Short trail, but we found ourselves face-to-face with a couple of lovely Green Frogs, a new species on the day.

On the way back to the car, we saw that the Garter had returned to its spot, trying to catch the little bit of sun that had finally decided to shine.
Not bad. Three animals in 15 minutes at a place we stopped at on a whim. I'll take it.

That was a fine Saturday excursion and a good way to get ourselves back in the Massachusetts swing of things. While unsuccessfully roadcruising in North Carolina, Andrea said to me, "Up North we might only see Water Snakes and Garter Snakes, but at least we get to see snakes." Yep- home cookin' tastes pretty good sometimes.

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