I headed to my board site again after work and while the first two boards yielded nothing I did manage to flip a neonate Eastern Milksnake with an unusual pattern on its back. The board also had some small Eastern Garter Snakes and Dekay's Brown Snakes but I prioritized the neonate.
After work I headed to my board spot to see what I could flip, I found some Eastern Garters but the main prize was the Dekay's Brown Snakes which I got many photos of despite being swarmed by Fire Ants.
Heading to one of my turtle spots, I managed to find two Daddy-Long-Legs mating which is something I dont recall ever seeing before. I soon found a Dekay's Brown Snake along with some Midland Painted Turtles. There were also Common Snapping Turtles, Green Frog tadpoles and Red-Eared Sliders
With Pawsitively Pets Kids Camp we went on a number of field trips, one of which was to Mountsberg Conservation area, there the kids got to spend the morning at the raptor centre looking at birds of prey and in the afternoon a tour of the park where they got to dipnet for invertebrates, fish and amphibians along with checking out the duckblind down by the lake. We managed to find some Midland Painted Turtles basking along with some tiny Eastern American Toadlets hopping along the path.
While working at Pawsitively Pets Kids Camp, we went on what we called forest day where we would bring the campers to high park to look for animals and play some outdoor and nature themed activities. While there today, we managed to find some turtles such as Midland Painted Turtles and Red-Eared Sliders. I tried to make the experience as informative as possible talking about how Red-Eared Sliders become invasive and why they shouldn't be released. The kids also got to build forts out of sticks in the woods but took down their forts at the end so that we don't disturb the microhabitats under the sticks and logs too much. After work I visited my father and was delighted to find an Eastern American Toad although it had gotten itself stuck in the pool. I brought him out, rinsed him off and released him by the river.
After Work, Jen and I headed to the Royal Ontario Museum as they were having free admission that day after a certain time. Before meeting up, I headed to my board spot where we went to prior, while I didn't manage to flip any Eastern Milksnakes I did find some Dekay's Brown Snakes and Eastern Garters. Covered in Snake Musk we headed downtown where I met up with Jen and visited the ROM.
The Brickworks is becoming one of my staple herping spots and while it is filled with more common species it is extra special to see such life flourish in the middle of Canada's largest city. I went to the Brickworks mainly as it is local and I wanted to try out my new camera; my Minolta XD, a hand-me-down from my uncle. It is a film camera so I had to wait some time to see how the photos came out. Upon getting to the Brickworks, I managed to find an Eastern Garter Snake crossing the path which I of course caught and photographed. Because they are constantly moving, it proved too difficult to photograph with the Minolta so i stuck with my Canon SX540. A little further was a spot a friend told me about where I could find a Dekay's Brown Snake, a species I had never seen at this location. Sure enough there was a little Dekay's Brown Snake which was very well behaved and allowed me to photograph it both with the Minolta and the Canon. the park of course had its turtles with Red-Eared Sliders and a small hatchling Midland Painted Turtle which I got some close up shots with using the Canon. Heading back to the house through Mt. Pleasant Cemetery, a cyclist showed me where there was a Red-Tailed Hawk nest and although the nest was empty a juvenile came out of nowhere and flew only a few metres over my head and landed on a nearby headstone, perfect for shooting.
After work, Jen and I headed to the Brickworks for some herping. We managed to find some Northern Green Frogs and some large Snapping Turtles before heading downtown.
Heading to Tommy Thompson Park I managed to find all sorts of birds but due to flooding only very few herptiles. I managed to find a few Midland Painted Turtles out basking although with most of the trails underwater there was not a lot of places I could go outside the main path. The cells within the park sported a large assortment of bird life, I was walking around the perimeter looking for turtles when i came across a Killdeer putting on quite a display. I figured this was to distract me from what I could only presume was a nearby nest so I turned to walk away figuring I was stressing the poor animal with just my presence. I turned around to find the smallest and fluffiest killdeer I have ever seen, this ball of fluff looked to have legs too large for its body. I quickly snapped some photos before returning to the main path. On the other side of the cell I came across an Eastern American Toad, while not a rare species it was a rather large individual that I thought would photograph well. While leaving the park, I began to hear a familiar noise, a high pitched call belonging to a Peregrine Falcon. I looked in the direction it was coming from and sure enough perched on the ladder of a factory was a small blur appearing to feed on another blur, zooming in with my camera confirmed what I believed was a Peregrine Falcon.
After finding that many of my coworkers are interested in herping, I decided to take a few of them out to one of my board spots. On the first flip we managed to find a massive Eastern Milksnake which I of course had to photograph as it had been some time since I last saw one, compared to Peterborough where I was finding multiple Eastern Milksnakes a day. Other flips yielded Dekay's Brown Snakes and Eastern Garter Snakes, finally the last board had a tiny neonate Eastern Milksnake under it. We treked on into the forest where we flipped an Eastern Red-Backed Salamander before heading downtown for Korean food.
I'm Mac Marzolini and I created this blog for a variety of reasons, the first of course is to open a window into what is happening in my life (cause my grandmother reads this), but also to help myself catalogue some of my favorite photos from my many adventures.