Thursday, May 31, 2012

Last month I checked out a big tract of vacant land in North Philly. I felt a little skittish to explore it all on my own, but last week I recruited Scott to join me on a more thorough exploration.

I could have a lot of fun here. Though I am sure plenty of sketchy stuff happens there, all the kids riding around on their dirt bikes and ATVs and the ordinary-looking guys with their kids fishing in the river put us at ease.

And there are a ton of snakes, all a short and easy bike ride from my office. Of course they're common snakes - garters (Thamnophis sirtalis) and browns (Storeria dekayi) - but they were everywhere, and some of them were lookers.

Of course my iPhone took the blurriest photos of the pretty ones:

But the volume in such a short period of time walking around seemed to make up for that disappointment.


And there's something cool about the ruins, about a thriving industrial site now overtaken by a mix of natural forces (trees, meadows) and human (graffiti):

Here's another garter snake DOR on 27th at the base of the South Street Bridge, pretty much the exact same spot as the one from the beginning of the month. It is certainly a sign from the herping gods that I need to explore back in there.