Sunday, May 21, 2017

Weekday Wanderings. 5-17-19th, 2017

The cold spell finally broke. We had some seriously warm and pleasant summery weather blow into town. Of course, it was the work week so our available nature time was very limited. Still, we played along and did what we could.

Andrea had her Garter eyes in good form while walking along Hyde Park Ave to the train station on Wednesday morning... she spied a Garter basking atop some logs in an empty lot.
It was the second day in a row she had seen some urban Garters. Not to shabby.

Thursday, the 18th, we broke temperature records in Boston with some mid-90s warming us up. It was hot but, to me, not unpleasant at all. I picked Andrea up at the station after work and we made our way over to a nearby cemetery pond for some birding and hopefully some turtles. We still needed a Snapper on the year and we know there are some... errr... excitable ones here.  At the pond's edge, a Red-eared Slider swam over to greet us.

Nearby, a Painted Turtle was looking on.

In the distance, a Double-crested Cormorant was standing on a rock. He alerted me to these Painters up basking on some branches.

We walked around the pond and when we reached the far end, I saw a large Snapper turn from the shoreline and flop back into the deeper water. Drat... first Snapper of the year and I couldn't get a shot! Never fear... on a small island in the pond, this monolith was taking a rest. Massive doesn't begin to describe it.
Looked more like a Leatherback to me.

This Bullfrog was in his evening finery.

We got to a better angle eventually and I got a shot of that island Snapper's noggin.

I was also at a better angle for the Cormorant.
#38 Double-crested Cormorant

Mission accomplished... we got our First-of-Year Snapper. But wait... who is that poking around the edge of the pond... I seem to recognize that scarring on the top of the head and the snout! This was our ol' pal, the begging Snapper!

And he was true to form, coming right out to say hi. Well, to beg for some food.
I may or may not have stupidly hand fed it a piece of bread. I still have all of my fingers, so I probably didn't.

Ah, it was nice to see old friends.

The next night, Friday the 19th, after a day with the temps into the high 80s, we went over to a nearby Norfolk County spot to check the decimated rail line again and look for warm summer snakes. We got there at about 6:30 PM. We immediately saw two Milk Snakes in the exact same spot as two weeks ago.
I declared that we can NOT flip these stones for a long time. These were obviously the same two snakes as before.

Except that when I uploaded the pictures and compared, I discovered that both were different Milks. I know our friend Ryan saw the smaller one during the week... it has a recognizable stub-tail.
But comparing the head markings on both of them with the two from April 28th, we knew that these two were new to us. But I still declare those rocks off limits for a while. You just can't go to the cupboard too many times before running out of bread.

The rail line was empty except for seriously annoying 'skeeters and gnats.

With the upcoming weekend calling for cooling temps and sunny skies, we have high hopes. Will we score big? Or fail miserably. Only time will tell.

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