Last week I stepped out on the back porch to listen to the rain and there was such a cacophony of noise I couldn’t hear the rain. The frogs were raising such a racket it was unbelievable! There must have been a million of these little guys out there to make that much noise!
I also encountered this soft-shell turtle as I was checking a field. His shell must have been 18 inches across. I couldn’t believe he let me get this close, as a matter of fact, about two seconds after I took this picture he went dashing off into the water.
I saw this small rat snake as I was riding my ATV.
I saw another 24 inch snake on a gravel road.
I saw this snake on a turn-row and fortunately he was dead because this is an infamous Blue Racer! When I was a kid, we lived in a little community about 4 miles outside of town. We rode our bike all over the community and rode into town to the baseball parks and swimming pool. Quite often we would see a snake slithering along as we rode our bikes down the gravel roads. If you swerved towards most snakes they would get back into the bushes as fast as they could. But, if we tried that with a Blue Racer they would come after us and chase us! It was a test of our bravery to mess with a Blue Racer. Part of the gravel lane we rode to get to town went through a small copse of woods just on the edge of the city limits, right before the lane crossed the railroad tracks. This area was known as Hobo Lane, because supposedly, Hobos would hop off of the trains before the trains entered the switch yard. The Hobos were said to camp in those woods and we were sternly admonished to avoid those Hobos at all cost because they all carried butcher knives and would cut your throat for your loose pocket change, then hop on the train and be long gone before anyone ever even missed us. I never saw a single Hobo riding through there, but still, if I was riding alone I rode as fast as I could until I got out of the woods!
I also saw a lizard like this Five Lined Skink, only the one I saw was at least 12 inches long. It was the biggest one I have ever seen! How many of you remember the County Fairs having games of skill such as the ring toss, and one of the prizes you could win was a lizard inside a small cardboard box? Well, if you remember that you are old! Now-a-days you could never get away with that, PETA would be all over that. The lizards were about 4 inches long with a bright blue tail. The older boys would tease the younger boys by saying if you broke the tail off of the lizard, the lizard would regrow the tail. BUT, the broken tail would keep growing and become a SNAKE! YIKES!
We were cleaning up around my shop one day, and one of my employees found this snake-skin. He wondered if he might encounter the owner and I said he might because I had encountered him several times this Spring. We would both stop and look at each other for a few seconds, then he would slither off on his business and I would go on about mine. Keep prepping everyone, and watch out for those snakes!