Friday, June 16, 2017

The Quest for a Nest 6-11-2017

We had one more chance this weekend to see a nesting turtle... next week might be getting too late. One hitch on this sunny Sunday; it was going to get super hot, the mid-90s, so we had to get out and about early. Luckily, we managed to do just that and arrived deep into Norfolk County at roughly 8:30 AM. It was still in the low 70s.

Luckily, we were there as the snakes were waking up... we even beat these two tarp-dwellers. First up, a Garter and a Ringer resting about a foot apart.

Not far from the tarp, this pretty Garter was already sunning, getting ready to start a long day of snaking.

A little peninsula that often has snakes on it was serpent-free. I noticed a small Snapper in the water off the side, however, and I figured it was worth getting double-soakers for a chance to look at him up close.
It was, for a minute or two.

Walking along the path, Andrea saw this small Water Snake warming up.
A bunch of humans and dogs were coming up quickly, so I poked his tail and he slithered to safety.

The water level was very high and many of the usual turtle-basking sites were underwater or unoccupied. This distant one had a few Painters on it.

A good Water Snake spot was sporting a pair of them... a large female and a small male that I caught for a photo. He bit me.

The dappled sunlight along the side of the trail was showing us plenty of snakes. These two Garters  were well on their way to warmth.

We turned on to a path that leads to a known nesting spot and Fralumpgh... right in front of us was a large female Snapper heading back to the pond after a hard morning of nesting.
We took pictures and let her be while we looked around the area. I went to flip a log and startled three Garters. Here are two of them...
The third one disappeared.

We got back to the Snapper spot and saw that she had scaled a hill on her way back to the water.
They never seem to take the easy way. We hid and watched her proceed. Here she is crossing the path...

Our mission was more or less accomplished, as was hers.

This large Garter was a stunner. Probably between 24" and 30", we didn't feel the need to capture and measure her.

At one point where Andrea took the high road and I took the low, she saw a garter on her path.
She picked it up so I could climb up and see it. It bit her.

We were getting fatigued by this time. The heat was on and the previous day might have been catching up with us by now. But we were still a couple of miles from the car so our eyes stayed peeled. That's how we saw this massive Green Frog through the trees, sitting on a branch in the swampy waters some 30 feet away.
That guy is about as Greens come. A beast!

Some more Painted Turtles from our walk by a basking spot. Yoga was in session.

We were tired but Andrea wanted to check out one last spot. I'm glad we did. Looking down past the boards of a dock, she saw this...
A nocturnal Ringneck foraging at noon on a 95° day. We'd never seen such a thing!
A study in orange...

That was our Sunday. It's our fun day. Our I don't have to run day.

1 comment:

  1. ok i finally could settle in to read and enjoy your weekend....
    i love the froggie omg
    and the turtles and the tiny tiny snake