Loaded the dog up into the car early morning last week after an overnight shift and headed west to meet up with a fellow herper, Curtis. We had a fateful day last fall, one of my best in Michigan, and hadn't been able to hook up since. Cid was still healing up after his little surgery but I wrapped his leg up best I and away we went.
The first spot we hiked was very wooded and despite following a bunch of good sections of trail we never really found any open areas. We found a few Ambystoma laterale, Rana sylvatica, Pseudacris crucifer, and a garter or two. We next headed to another spot, and the day improved drastically.
The weather was perfect, low 70s and partly cloudy. Within an hour or so we turned up four blue racers. All of them were found out and about in a couple different fields. We also managed to scare up some Rana pipiens, Thamnophis sauritus, and another Ambystoma laterale or two.
Cid was back in rare form, and he was even responsible for turning up one of the racers. I noticed him stepping over a blue stick stretched out and realized that it wasn't a stick... Luckily he didn't really notice and the snake just sat there as well.
The first racer, as found basking.
The middle two snakes unfortunately slipped away in the grass quickly without pictures.
Here is the fourth snake, also found in situ right after Cid stepped over it.
It quickly spooked up a tree, and hung around for some excellent photographic opportunities.
I finished the day by getting stung by an insect of some sort. I thought it was a yellow jacket, but the stinger was still visible on my finger, with muscles visibly pumping more venom into me. Correct if I am wrong, but I thought this was a feature more common in the less aggressive honey bees? I should have taken a moment to snap a picture due to professional interests (I waited long enough to show Curtis) but instead flicked it away as the discomfort was growing tiresome.
The frosts are just around the corner...