Friday, February 24, 2017

The Good, the Bad and the February.

Where have we been? It is February in Massachusetts. We have been dodging snowflakes, shoveling, shivering and getting the shaft. But we have been active.

On February 4th, we did our sea turtle necropsies, which went smoothly except for when I accidentally splashed turtle blood into my dear friend Tim's mouth. He seems to have survived the ordeal. What are friends for, anyway?

The following weekend was our annual Everglades trip. Good ol' Jet Blue cancelled our flight 36 hours before take-off... long before any snow had fallen. We did indeed get hit by 14 inches of snow in the city, but other airlines managed to make it out on that Friday. I got a (more or less) full refund but that one hurt. Still does.

That weekend, we took a cold walk in the Arboretum for some birds. We didn't get many and Señor Hoot's hole was empty. Or was it?
#14 Screech Owl

We took a few hikes here and there with nothing to show for it photographically, but got rewarded with fresh air, each other's company and nature. We went back to the Arboretum on Saturday the 18th for some more birds. Señor Hoot was in and I also got a decent Red-tail shot.
#14 Screech Owl
#13 Red-tailed Hawk

I shot this Yellow-belly Sapsucker just as he pooped, which is pretty gross.

Thanks to Jet Blue, my 2017 bird count is only at 16.

On Presidents Day, Andrea had work so I headed over to the local stream for some Two-lines all alone. I needed at least one February herp. When I got there, I noticed that the stream had grown quite wide... the adjacent small field was flooded.
It was going to be tougher than planned to see a salamander.

But I finally netted an adult and two larvae.

Since then, the weather has warmed up and it's become downright nice out! My friends south of the (New York) border have been finding herps left and right. I ditched work early on Thursday the 23rd because it was 69° (in February) and the sun was shining. I got to our local den spot by about 3:30 in the afternoon. In just a T-shirt and jeans (in February), I headed to the den spots. The third one rewarded me with a skinny lil' Garter catching some late afternoon rays.
First snake of the year.

I felt like I was being watched as I photographed that guy. I was...
We've been having a pretty rough go of it lately. These guys made me feel better. I wish Andrea could have been with me.

I ended the hike off with a couple of nice Redbacks, the first in February.

So, that is what we have been up to. Bad stuff, good stuff and stuffy stuff. It is gorgeous out today (Friday the 24th) and I'm trying to decide if I should head out anywhere... I probably will not. I want to share these things with Andrea.


  1. mr mike...i dreamt that you and ms andrea came to my show in ct......and i introduced you all as true heros for rescuing sea turtles!!!!!!!!!
    *that was the good part of last nights dreams...before the nightmares started*

    1. Hopefully we'll make that dream come true... and the others will not! <3