Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Fast forward to summer

It seems that someone has pressed fast forward on the seasons and that we're fully in summer. I am already dreaming of already with this heat and humidity. I'm not meant to work in this heat. Tomorrow will be another scorcher of a day. It's tough to do a turtle survey when you and the turtles both want to escape from the heat. They are hunkered down in dense shrubs trying to hide and you are desperately trying to find them.

But here's some critters that I've recently encountered. There's a box turtle in the top pic. It seems every shot of him he's looking away from the camera, which is a shame since he has such pretty eyes.

Then there's this hatchling painted turtle that I found that has a shell defect. I probably spent way too much time worrying about it and giving it a pep talk that I lost my coworkers for a brief period of time. Then I had to find the perfect spot for it so that we didn't trample it on the way out. No matter. They didn't find turtles in the area they were while I found a wee one on our brisk walk in.
Here's a green snake, which is a pretty rare find. I even held it (not my hands in pic) where it promptly pooped. Gee thanks.
I found these frog eggs on sultry afternoon. The sun was hitting just right in the tall vegetation and I spotted them. Looking forward to the wee tadpoles when they hatch.
Finally...this is possibly a home for ????? Too small for a bear. I certainly can't fit in the hole, but who knows. Looks like a perfect spot for something to live in.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

It's definitely spring

This time of year you blink your eyes and the trees and shrubs go from gray and bare to full leaf out. Everywhere you look has lush shades of green. Everything else has a coating of the unnatural chartreuse shade of pollen. I spent most of the week doing field work....mostly turtle searches...mostly fruitless turtle searches.

While turtle searching, I had a bear sighting. I heard this noise that sounded sort of like someone dragging empty garbage cans on the ground. I crept closer to the noise expecting a human since I was close to someone's house. Instead I see a bear sliding down a tree in the woods and then take off running. I guess my coworkers had scared it up a tree and it came down when all seemed quiet.
A day or two later I spotted these two fawns separately in a field. My first fawns of the year and maybe they are twins. They tried their hardest to even further tuck themselves in as I got close.

Then I ended one long day with a story of a porcupine in a tree. Off I went and sure enough it was still snoozing up a tree. It did wake for a moment when enough people gathered but it quickly went to nap zone. It's good to finally see one alive. The dead one was just down the road so I'm hoping this one is smart enough and quick enough to avoid the same fate.