After helping Jean pack up all the paraphernalia from yesterday’s wedding and reception and then a quick trip into town for breakfast (since the resort punted on supplying the complementary breakfast they had promised), Cathy, Dorothy and I went for a walk to some stone ruins on the property. When we got to the ruins, Cathy (I think) said something about it being a good place for snakes. Sure enough, there was a mid-sized eastern ratsnake (Pantherophis alleghaniensis) sunning itself in a crack in the wall. A few minutes later, when Cathy screamed, Dorothy and I assumed it was another snake but it was this eastern fence lizard (Sceloporus undulatus), just a little closer than Cathy had been prepared for. I was able to get a few good pictures before it darted away. This is a male, evidenced by the blue patch just visible on the lower part of the neck. It also has a pretty significant infestation of orange mites or some other sort of pathogen.
Tagged With: Reptile
A little further along Rock Creek from where we saw the azaleas in bloom, we happened to go down onto a stony area along the creek. Cathy was turning over rocks looking for interesting colors (and she’s hoping to find garnets). She turned over a rock that looked promising, started screaming, and ran past me jumping up and down. There was a snake under the rock, enjoying the residual warmth that the stone had collected during the warmer part of the day. This is a northern watersnake (Nerodia sipedon sipedon). Kind of cool, actually, but Cathy wasn’t convinced.
Cathy and I walked on the canal today, heading northwest (upstream) from Pennyfield Lock, getting near Blockhouse Point. We saw a Great Blue Heron and I got a few photos of that but thought this photo of a northern red-bellied cooter (Pseudemys rubriventris) deserved to be seen. These are large basking turtles and are fairly common along the canal, along with the smaller eastern painted turtle (Chrysemys picta picta). Often, and especially from a distance, the color pattern on these turtles isn’t easily seen. This one, however, was particularly vivid and with the help of my long lens (zoomed to 531mm, according to the exif data), I was able to get quite close.
We made one last visit to ‘Alligator Pond’ today and got a nice, very close-up view of an American alligator (Alligator mississippiensis). We also enjoyed seeing a great blue heron (Ardea herodias) and across the water a flock of wood storks (Mycteria americana). It was quite hot today, probably the hottest day of the week and with rain in the morning, it was very humid. It’s our last day at the beach and we have a longish drive home ahead of us tomorrow. So, nice to take it easy today.