Mittwoch, 13. Mai 2015

Pond-Safari May 2015

Hoka hey guys and lady dudes! I had a wonderful vacation last week and experienced some of my best days in my life so far! It was raining and cold out there but eventually the sun came out and with the sun came the ring snakes. They needed the warm sun so much, so they weren't as shy as usual. Perfect for me! But there were also other cool animals as well. See more under the cut!

The first thing I did in my vacation (next to crafting) was going outdoors to my beloved snake pond. I didn't have to look around a lot, because the first snake was literally in front of me. It was sun bathing on some dry reed. Daww, look at it! So adorable how it curled it up on that reed (picture below) <3

A few steps further I found that little fella. Looked like a yearling, because it wasn't that big. Maybe about 25cm long and thin like a pencil.

I went on further and saw a medium-sized ring snake on a stump. Snakes have very good eyesight, so it noticed me first before I saw it. Normally the snake will escape, because I was very close to it. But it was motionless, just kept me in its watchful eyes. I think it needed the sun so much that it was too lazy for to flee, but after I went ahead it was looking for another, safer place.


In the dry reed I spotted Big Mama, the uber-snake-mother deluxe. It wasn't the length which was particularly impressive, but more the overall thickness of the body which amazed me.
Behind that big beast was a smaller cutie - it was pure luck to even spot it.

I counted six snakes in and around the pond and I think there are even more. No wonder there weren't any frogs around.

Then I saw something amazing! An animal I've never seen before (alive) in my life: A very big fire salamander! I was stunned and so happy! It was a bit afraid of me and my camera, but look at that beauty! PAPARAZZI!!!

But there aren't only amphibians and reptilians at the pond. There were also beautiful butterflies and bugs.

Orange-tip butterfly. The orange turned out too yellowish on the photo.

May beetle.

A big "wood beetle".

The mourning cloak was also there. It's the same from last time.

Not a butterfly nor a bug, but a wall lizard.

After a few hours I went to the big pond complex near the lake. The luck was still on my side, because I almost stepped on a baby ring snake! I was shocked, it was shocked and after a few seconds it shoot off into the water like a flash ;D

There are many ponds near the forest so there were also frogs (mostly water frogs) and a lot of tadpoles. I think that were the offspring from toads.


This was a baby frog, very very tiny.
While I was sitting by the pond, doing some tadpole watching I saw something else. A fat larva was swimming around. I think that was the larva of a great diving beetle. And there it was, that beetle! Diving and looking for food. It was very fast - a cool sight!
I spotted also another larva, but it was a bit smaller than the other and too far away for a photo.

After a while I went into the forest. The ground was covered with blooming bear's garlic. There was quite the smell in the air ;)
Some forest expressions.

I went back to the ponds and saw something very special again. The last time I saw this animal I was about ten years old: A fire-bellied toad! Not only one, no, there were two of them! It's amazing how small and camouflaged they are.
I scared them off with my presence, but after a while they finally relaxed. One of them swam next to my (stinky) foot. Thank you for the photo-shooting my little friend!
At home I told my mum about that spotting and she was really happy but also very jealous, so we went to that pond together again. Even my mum found these little critters cute <3


The next day I went again to the snake pond. I had to visit that place before the reed grew too high. I saw snakes again, but not that many anymore. But hey, I love every ring snake sight <3
Look at this one, it's pretty aware of me ;)

That's one of my best photos.
I was tooking some photos of it as suddenly a squeaking noise penetrates my ear. It was the noise of a water shrew! That nervous little animal was moving and diving nonstop and was hard to spot. And it's even harder to get a photo of that quick animal. I didn't have a chance.
I also stumbled over a snake again while I was "hunting" that shrew xD

Oh, and I saw also a big bunch of brook lampreys! But that's another story.

I'm very thankful for these days. To have such wonderful ponds and wildlife around my home isn't a implicitness, so I feel kinda blessed. Either way ponds are always very interesting and fascinated me since I was a small child. One of my biggest dreams is to build my very own pond. I think I can't live anymore without ponds <3 I hope you have some in your area too. If yes, go and enjoy the water and its residents!

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