Garter Snake – 5/3/20

Observer: Megan Baker and Leslie Koval Observation Date: 5/3/20 Observation Time: 3:20 p.m. Observation Location: near Briggs Pond Common Name: Garter Snake Scientific Name: Thamnophis sirtalis Comments: This garter snake seems to have bitten off more than it can swallow. Outcome unknown. More Information: Wikipedia

Read more

Painted Turtles – 5/3/20

Observer: Paul Lauenstein Observation Date: 5/3/20 Observation Time: 10:45 a.m. Observation Location: Gavins Pond Common Name: Painted Turtle Scientific Name: Chrysemys picta Comments: Turtles are cold-blooded. These painted turtles were sunning themselves on a log to escape the chilly water. In June, painted turtles lay their eggs in holes they dig with their hind legs in sunny patches of sandy soil. More Information: Wikipedia

Read more

Snapping Turtle – 5/3/20

Observer: Paul Lauenstein Observation Date: 5/3/20 Observation Time: 8:30 a.m. Observation Location: Near Billings Brook downstream of Gavins Pond dam Common Name: Snapping Turtle Scientific Name: Chelydra serpentina Comments: Reptiles are cold-blooded. This individual had hauled itself out of the chilly water to warm itself in the sun. In early June, snapping turtles come out of the water, dig a hole in sandy areas, and bury their eggs. […]

Read more

Milk Snake – 5/2/20

Observer: Marcia Tranavitch Observation Date:  5/2/20 Observation Time: noon Observation Location: against the retaining wall in my garden at 24 Pine St. Common Name: Milk Snake Scientific Name: Lampropeltis triangulum Comments: I encountered him/her among the leaves I was cleaning out at the edge of the woods on my property. I estimate this milk snake was at least 3 feet in length. To appreciate its length, note the […]

Read more

Black Racer – 1/11/20

Observer: Marcia Tranavitch Observation Date: 1/11/20 Observation Time: mid-day Observation Location: on top of Pierce’s Hill on the Warner Trail (which is also the Bay Circuit Trail at this point) Common Name: Black racer Scientific Name: Coluber constrictor Comments: Reptiles are cold-blooded so they warm themselves by basking. This black racer was seen sunning itself on a warm winter day. It didn’t stretch out for me but […]

Read more

Milk Snake – 10/17/18

Observer: Kathy Farrell Observation Date:  10/17/18 Observation Time: 3:46 p.m. Observation Location: Beaver Brook Trail Common Name: Milk Snake Scientific Name: Lampropeltis triangulum Comments: Beautiful snake in middle of trail. Not very big…maybe 6-8″. Maybe juvenile? Was shaking its tail at me! No rattle. More Information: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Milk_snake

Read more

Spotted Turtle – 7/17/18

Observer: Zahava Friedman Observation Date: 7/17/18 Observation Time:  Observation Location: Gavins Pond Road Common Name: Spotted Turtle Scientific Name: Clemmys guttata Comments: Rare in Massachusetts. Spotted turtles visit vernal pools in spring to feed on amphibian eggs. When the pools dry up in summer, they must trek overland to return to a permanent pond. Unfortunately, this often entails crossing roads. More Information: Natural History and […]

Read more

Black Racer – 5/7/18

Observer: Paul Lauenstein Observation Date: 5/7/18 Observation Time: 8:15 a.m. Observation Location: Moose Hill Audubon Wildlife Sanctuary Common Name: Black racer Scientific Name: Coluber constrictor Comments: This black racer was sunning itself in the cool of the morning, and continuously monitoring its surroundings by “tasting” the air with its forked tongue. More Information: Snakes of Massachusetts

Read more

Eastern Box Turtle – 9/3/17

Observer: Zahava Friedman Observation Date: 9/3/17 Observation Time: 6:45 p.m. Observation Location: along Gavins Pond Rd. Common Name: Eastern Box Turtle Scientific Name: Terrapene carolina  Comments: This specimen was discovered by Zahava’s dog, Yoshi, when they were out for a walk. Box turtles are a species of special concern. They are vulnerable to getting run over by cars. Although box turtles can live over 100 years, females […]

Read more

Spotted Turtle – 7/28/17

Observer: Kurt Buermann Observation Date: 7/28/17 Observation Location: King Philips Trail, Sharon Common Name: Spotted Turtle Scientific Name: Clemmys guttata Comments: Rare in Massachusetts. Spotted turtles visit vernal pools in spring to feed on amphibian eggs. When the pools dry up in summer, they must trek overland to return to a permanent pond. Unfortunately, this often entails crossing roads. More Information: Natural History and Endangered Species […]

Read more

Snapping Turtle – 7/22/16

Observer: Paul Lauenstein Observation Date: 7/22/16 Observation Time: 6:15 p.m. Observation Location: Outflow pool below Gavins Pond dam Common Name: Snapping Turtle Scientific Name: Chelydra serpentina Comments: Snapping turtles come out of the water and lay their eggs in sandy areas in early June. The eggs hatch in late summer or early fall. More Information: Tufts Wildlife Clinic and Mass Audubon’s guide to turtle species

Read more

Northern Water Snake (juvenile) – 8/6/12

Observer: Paul Lauenstein Observation Date: 8/6/12 Observation Time: 1:10 p.m. Observation Location: outflow pool below Gavins Pond Dam Common Name: Northern Water Snake (juvenile) Scientific Name: Nerodia sipedon Comments: Young northern water snake males are more brightly marked than older ones, which tend to be all black. More Information: Snakes of Massachusetts

Read more

Northern Water Snake – 6/12/13

Observer: Paul Lauenstein Observation Date: 6/12/13 Observation Time: 1:30 p.m. Observation Location: Gavins Pond Dam Common Name: Northern Water Snake Scientific Name: Nerodia sipedon Comments: The older northern water snakes get, the blacker they become. This mature specimen appears to be all black, but the underside is still colorful. Non-venomous northern water snakes are sometimes confused with venomous water moccasins, which live farther south. Even older northern water snakes […]

Read more

Northern Water Snake – 5/31/12

Observer: Paul Lauenstein Observation Date: 5/31/12 Observation Time: 8:20 a.m. Observation Location: Gavins Pond Dam Common Name: Northern Water Snake Scientific Name: Nerodia sipedon Comments: This big water snake was stalking a frog. More Information: http://www.snake-removal.com/northernwatersnake.html It tastes the air with its forked tongue. Its scales have ridges called “keels.” The frog got away.

Read more

Northern Water Snake – 8/14/10

Observer: Alex Hackman Observation Date: 8/14/10 Observation Time: 11:00 a.m. Observation Location: Outlet of Gavins Pond Common Name: Northern Water Snake Scientific Name: Nerodia sipedon Comments: Lucky to see this water snake slither by while taking stream flow measurements. More Information: Wikipedia  

Read more

Milk Snake (roadkill) – 9/12/13

Observer: Paul Lauenstein Observation Date:  9/12/13 Observation Time: 4:30 p.m. Observation Location: Moose Hill Street Common Name: Milk Snake Scientific Name: Lampropeltis triangulum Comments: Sad to see this beautiful non-venomous milk snake run over by a car.  Milk snakes are generally docile, but when alarmed, they sometimes shake their tails against dead leaves to imitate the sound of a rattlesnake. More Information: Virginia Herpetological Society

Read more

Musk Turtle – 5/29/13

Observer: Paul Lauenstein Observation Date: 5/29/13 Observation Time: 1:30 p.m. Observation Location: Gavins Pond Dam Common Name: Musk turtle Scientific Name: Sternotherus odoratus Comments: This small turtle, which only grows to 5″ in length, is common in Sharon. When disturbed, it emits a disagreeable odor, which accounts for both its common and scientific names. This individual presumably came ashore to lay eggs. Believe it or not, musk turtles […]

Read more

Northern Water Snake – 7/9/11

Observer: Paul Lauenstein Observation Date: 7/9/11 Observation Time: 3:45 p.m. Observation Location: Gavins Pond Dam Common Name: Northern Water Snake Scientific Name: Nerodia sipedon Comments: Water snakes are not venomous, but they can be large (4 feet long or more, and as thick as a man’s wrist) and aggressive. This one was more interested in avoiding me than attacking me. More Information: Savannah River Ecology Laboratory The […]

Read more

Painted Turtle – 7/6/11

Observer: Paul Lauenstein Observation Date: 7/6/11 Observation Time: 4:50 p.m. Observation Location: Gavins Pond outflow pool Common Name: Painted Turtle Scientific Name: Chrysemys picta Comments: I found this specimen on the dam, so I photographed it and then put it back in the water. In June, painted turtles lay their eggs in holes they dig with their hind legs in sunny patches of sandy soil. More […]

Read more

Garter Snake – 3/17/11

Observer: Paul Lauenstein Observation Date: 3/17/11 Observation Time: 2:20 p.m. Observation Location: Coach Lane Common Name: Garter Snake Scientific Name: Thamnophis sirtalis Comments: This is a common snake. It is harmless. More Information: Wikipedia   Back to the Sightings List

Read more

Snapping Turtle Drama – 8/25/10

Observer: Paul Lauenstein Observation Date: 8/25/10 Observation Time: 7:30 a.m. Observation Location: Spillway at Gavins Pond dam Common Name: Snapping Turtle Scientific Name: Chelydra serpentina On August 25 the spillway at the Gavins Pond dam was flowing strongly following four inches of rain in three days. A good-sized snapping turtle had gotten swept by the current into the spillway at the Gavins Pond dam. It […]

Read more

Snapping Turtle – 8/21/10

Observer: Paul Lauenstein Observation Date: 8/21/10 Observation Time: 7:50 a.m. Observation Location: Gavins Pond Road Common Name: Snapping Turtle Scientific Name: Chelydra serpentina Comments: It is a common misconception that snapping turtles may be safely picked up by the tail with no harm to the animal; in fact, this has a high chance of injuring the turtle, especially the tail itself and the vertebral column. […]

Read more

Painted Turtle – 7/25/10

Observer: Paul Lauenstein Observation Date: 7/25/10 Observation Time: 10:40 a.m. Observation Location: Gavins Pond Dam Common Name: Painted Turtle Scientific Name: Chrysemys picta Comments: Painted turtles mostly stay in the water, or climb out to sun themselves on logs. This one was walking around on Gavins Pond Dam. More Information: Warner Nature Center

Read more

Eastern Box Turtle – 7/19/10

Observer: Paul Lauenstein Observation Date: 7/19/10 Observation Time: 7:30 a.m. Observation Location: undisclosed location in Sharon (to protect the turtle) Common Name: Eastern Box Turtle Scientific Name: Terrapene carolina Comments: I spotted this rare male box turtle (Terrapene carolina) in Sharon (exact location undisclosed to protect the turtle) at 7:30 on Monday, July 19, 2010. Although it appeared at first to want to cross the […]

Read more

Spotted Turtle – 6/28/10

Observer: Paul Lauenstein Observation Date: 6/28/10 Observation Time: 8:00 a.m. Observation Location: Gavins Pond Road behind Shaw’s Plaza Common Name: Spotted Turtle (female) Scientific Name: Clemmys guttata Comments: This female spotted turtle may have been searching for a sandy spot to lay eggs. It may take up to 7 years for a spotted turtle to reach sexual maturity. Or perhaps it was returning to deeper […]

Read more
1 2