25 August 2009

Scenes from the commute -- Hey, who you callin' a stinkpot!?


Why, that'd roughly be you, Mr. Turtle.

Say hello to
Sternotherus odoratus better know as the Common Musk Turtle -- aka: The Stinkpot.

Much like myself, the common musk turtle will secrete a foul smelling musk from their anal gland when threatened (hence the name). Perhaps this little fella went easy on me, seeing how it's a Tuesday and all and even though I picked him up, he didn't feel threatened enough to share any of his 'secret sauce'.

I caught up with Mr. Turtle on the dam at
Lake Crabtree this morning. We hung out and chatted about the weather for a bit, then each went our own way.
Vaya con Dios, Mr. Turtle.

20 August 2009

Scenes from the commute -- ongoing herpetology studies

Grrrr. Of all days to forget my camera... While rolling through Umstead Park this morning, I noticed a small black squiggle on the trail. Being curious, I turned around to take a look -- it was the smallest snake I've ever seen. A tiny little ringneck snake, probably only a couple days old -- if that. Barely 4" from nose to tail.

He didn't seem too keen on me picking him up (don't blame him) but once in my hand, he must of liked my body heat and tightly wound himself around and between my fingers. Had to force him off my hand and back into the safety of the underbrush.

I found this photo of a ringneck snake on the web -- it's pretty close to the same size as the one I saw this morning.

Not a mile further down the trail, I saw the perfect track of a side-winder snake in the sandy trail. Wonder if it was a rattlesnake -- or a copperhead -- or...?

02 August 2009

Rainy Ride

It's pretty much a tradition: Geof & I ride on Sundays. If it's warm enough, it's a 'weather be damned' ride -- today was one of those days. The radar was showing lots of green just to the west of the Triangle this morning so I grabbed a fendered bike for the occasion.

We rode a great little route including an assault on the Col du Lystra. Geof was riding 'strong like bull' today and I spent most of the morning trying to hang on to his wheel. I just didn't have the power today -- I felt like a shadow.

Being able to map out the route is kinda fun. Sure, we've ridden the same roads a hundred times, but there's just something neat about seeing the day's efforts drawn out for you. I used my little GPS to record the route and I've posted a copy to MapMyRide:
One could say we had a good ride in spite of the rain, but I'd say we had a good ride because of the rain.