The onset of herping season after the withdrawal of a long dark winter always makes me want to shout from the rooftops - or at least post on some internet forum. This year, the wait lasted even longer than usual, as my new job has kept me busy and I haven't had the time to get out when the weather was right and reports started dripping in from across the country.
Yesterday afternoon I finally had an hour, pressing chores around the house all done, daughter at friend's house, wife and son at the movies. Temps had been reasonable all morning (mid 40's by early afternoon) but sun was wanting. The forecast said it should break through around mid to late afternoon, though, so as the clouds started to disperse I headed out. There ought to be just enough time for a couple of herps to come out and enjoy a few rays before the sun was once again to low on the horizon. Knowing I was short on time I headed straight for my favourite local hibernaculum that has often provided me with the first snake of the season. Once again, it didn't disappoint. At the base of the slope, next to the old stone wall lay an adult male adder, quite pretty for the time of year. I took a few shots and headed onwards for a brief walk through the habitat.
Monkey off my back, I didn't want to stress to check out all the spots, so I opted instead for a slow walk, enjoying the weather and the first butterflies as well as the herps. By the railroad tracks I was delightfully surprised to flip a nice coppery adult male slow worm. Other than that I came up empty handed and decided to have second look at the den to see if the adder was now in a better position for photos.
It was, but better still, a little un from last year, still dirt covered and obivously much colder and less energetic than its possible father had also made its way out from among the rocks. I took a few more shots of both, hung out a bit savouring the moment and finallyand contentedly made my way back when the adders and I all could feel the warmth of the sun already waning and they slowly made their way back into cover.
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Moderator: Scott Waters
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