Friday, July 21, 2017

Going for a Swim 7-16-2017

That is what we wanted to do on this steamy Sunday. Unlike the day before, it was going to be hot and we wanted to take a dip. Of course, the only real place we know of to swim is a pond in Norfolk County and it happens to be one of our favorite, long time hiking places. While we knew it was going to be pretty damn hot in the sun (it was Sunday after all), we took the long way to the swimming spot to see if any critters were out and about.

This place can be pretty infested with humans and that was the case this day. But still, once we hit the dam area, we started seeing stuff. This pretty Northern Water Snake was cruising the water's edge, probably looking for some breakfast.

The snake crawled within a few inches of this small Painted Turtle.
Nerodia-gal probably wouldn't have been interested but I don't think they ever actually ever saw each other.

This biggish girl was crossing a clear spot and I was a bit slow on the camera.

I ran around to get in front of her and by the time I did, she'd turned into a much smaller specimen.

Meanwhile, the bigger one had in actuality turned back and Andrea got a shot as she hit the weeds.
Not too bad... a handful of Water Snakes. They seemed to be doing what we were there for... cooling off in the water.

We didn't see much else. It was too hot for salamanders and most turtle basking spots are underwater this year. We took a stroll along the boardwalk through the bog. It's always a good 10° cooler in there, at least. We saw no animals but it is beautiful and otherworldly in there.
The water is reddish. Very cool. We didn't see any carnivorous plants this time, but they're in there.

Though I had said we couldn't get ice cream on the way home unless we hit 10 species, we wound up with only three. The third was up, way off trail at a place we call the Hobo Camp. We'd seen Ringnecks and Garters up there but this was our first Milk Snake.

That was nice surprise. We worked Ringneck Hill, Two-lined Stream and all of the usual spots but nobody was around. So, we headed to the swimming area, paid our fee and cooled off. I was enjoying the Sunfish that started to stalk me...
They moved in for the kill...
They were biting my toes and ankles, in particular the small, squiggly snake tattoo near my ankle. I guess it looked like a snack.
Call them Sunfish, Bluegills or Punkinseeds, they are a vicious and formidable predator. I was lucky to survive.

So we swam, played Zaat With Personal Space Issues, goofed off and cooled off. Our walk back to the car was more pleasant, though we saw no more animals.

And we got ice cream anyway.


  1. i'm going to be drawing all your snakeys for a bit if it's ok with yous.... after i finish this painting..
    that last photo of that adorable milk is first up i think!