Sunday, July 22, 2007

I’d been craving a turtle trip all week, but it wasn’t meant to be. I’d been thinking about heading up to Upper Bucks County with designs on map turtles (Graptemys geographia) and maybe even wood turtles (Glyptemys insculpta), but I needed at least five continuous hours somewhere in the weekend, and all I could put together was three.

I did accomplish lots of other things this weekend – spent lots of time with my family, I finally bought and mounted a rack on my bicycle – but this evening (around 7:30pm on Sunday July 22nd) rolled around with me still feeling incomplete. I needed to go herping.

So, I headed up Belmont and a little out Parkside to check on my brown snakes (Storeria d. dekayi). Unfortunately my own special cul de sac was occupied by a dark red SUV with tinted windows with feet visible from underneath the truck standing at the passenger side. I didn't want to interrupt any transactions, so I drove the other way> I stopped a couple blocks away ,where the cinderblock walls of the Lowe’s have been rising from the weeds, and I looked under some concrete chunks. I found nothing.

The truck drove away after a few minutes, and I reoccupied the cul de sac. I checked all the usual chunks and boards around the sidewalk, and I turned up this guy. I think it’s a ‘he,’ but it might have simply been a non-gravid female.

I was tempted to head deeper into the weeds for a more-thorough search, but I saw a white Cadillac make it to the intersection a block away, pause a moment, and then pull a U-turn and drive away. I felt a little uneasy getting to far away from the car on my own, so I decided to call it a day (after 25 minutes) and head home.

The temperature was in the high 70s, the air was dry, and the sky was sunny.