Wednesday, July 17, 2019

Last Day Off... Sunday, July 7th, 2019.

My 9 straight days off (and Andrea's 6) was ending on that Sunday. We were going to just stay home and hang around the house instead of going out into the heat again, but when the forecast said it would be sunny and in the low 70s, we changed our minds and went to Plymouth County. We figured we'd hit a spot where we'd have a chance to see a diverse bunch of animals.

We got there in the late morning and a cool breeze greeted us as we got out of the car. Nice. Even better was finding our first Massachusetts Redbellied Snake of the year.
Field guides say they're all over but anyone who goes out to look for them knows that they're a tough species in this state.
This beautiful charcoal guy had a small set of scales that were chocolate colored. It's not a scar, just a neat aberration.

A Fowler's Toad looked surprised to see us.

We visited a vernal pool that is still huge and stretched across a large trail. It is still very full of life. There were teeny tadpoles that had legs sprouting. Peepers or Grays, perhaps.

Next stop, the bogs. Frogs in bogs are always a treat. Right away, we had two Bulls.

Since these are working cranberry bogs, there comes a time during the year that they bring in boxes of bees to pollinate and keep everything running. We'd been on the wrong side of these bees before so we always peer up the trail to see if they've been delivered. They had been, so we took a trail through the woods to avoid that particular path.

That diversion worked out well for us, as Andrea spied this, our first Massachusetts Hognose of the year.
Unfortunately, it saw us too, and we got the cobra act. Luckily, it didn't "die".
Andrea pulled it out of the brush and into the trail in hopes of getting a clear photo and it took off back into the woods like lightning. With the kind of speed that snake showed, it makes me wonder why they do all of the dramatics.

Back out on the bog path, we saw this female Painter plopping out some eggs.
We didn't hang long watching her. Privacy. Did you ever notice that a nesting turtle looks like you would if someone was watching you on the toilet?

Green Frogs were calling like mad but I only got shots of Bullfrogs. The Greens were sneaky. At least these Bulls are beautiful and green.
Ride 'em cowboy!

A little bog Painter.
Hey... it's a bog turtle!

We sat down for a while at the edge of a pond next to the bog, just enjoying the breeze, the birds and each other... and this mini-Pickerel. (Thanks for the heads up, son!)

We'd decided to skip one of our usual spots in this state forest since we'd already seen some trophy snakes and just go to one more spot to look for turtles. Driving along, I thought for sure I'd seen a massive turtle up basking, so we pulled over to look. It was a trick of the light or something, but we got a consolation Bullfrog noggin.

Just a bit down the road from there, we really did see another turtle, this time in the road. This Snapper was stupidly trying to cross between two ponds.
Andrea was all too happy to lend a hand.
Reason #4,386 why I love Andrea... she loves Snappers. A lot.

Our final destination was fruitful... there were Painters up basking, both near and far.

It gets tougher when the water warms up and the sun isn't needed as much to stay toasty, but we had one Plymouth Redbelly up and looking elegant.

We had a nice long chat with the ranger there, a very nice guy who is as enthusiastic and animated about nature as my dear friend Dave is about Euro films. We talked for a while about many subjects, including Coydogs, Coywolves, Coyotes and Wolves and what may or may not be present in this part of the world. Very interesting.

While Andrea was looking for Wood Frogs in the facilities, getting ready to head home, I added another bird to the life-list... #187, the Pine Warbler. (#92 on the year)
#92 Pine Warbler Lifer #187
I'm sure I'd seen them before but had most likely thought they were Goldfinches or something.

Sure, we had to go back to work the following day but finally having some tolerable weather was nice and both we and the animals appreciated that.

1 comment:

  1. i love your wanderings......i really do....
    i live vicariously