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We might not be cuddly….but we’re here all the same

Richard Charpentier Notes from Rich, Photography Leave a Comment

There are critters out there that none of us think about cuddling with.  Reptiles, amphibians, great white sharks, black widow spider (they give me the heeebeeee geeeebeeees)……  But whether or not we’re fans of the little creatures, they are still there no matter what.

Personally I’ve always found frogs to be interesting.  My Pep (grandfather) would disagree wholeheartedly, but I must say that I’m good with frogs.   I remember once one of my cousins catching a frog in the cove.  He walked up to shore with the frog in his hands, legs dangling and the frog looking terrified, and then it happened…….  The frog let out a “Meeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee,” pissed on my cousin, and the frog was dropped.  In a hot second it was back in the cove swimming as far away from us as possible.  If only Pep had thought of using us as a frog deterrent instead of his relocation plan!


I will so eat those dragonflies....and fairies.

I will so eat those dragonflies….and fairies.

Pépère is the Canadian French version of Grandpa.  My family is slightly French.  Richard Lucien Charpentier, n’est pas?  If you know me, haven’t you noticed the nose?  Yeah, that’s a Charpentier nose.  C’est la vie, I’ve learned to live with it.  😛

I’ve spent many summers with Pépère and Mémère on the lake.  And I can tell you this.  The French might be referred to as “frogs,” but Pep felt no fraternity at all.  As a matter of fact, they were the Moriarty to his Sherlock.  Mortal enemies is an understatement.  In fact, Pepere went so far as to institute a frog relocation program.  He’d catch one and bring it down to the Holbrook’s cove.  By the time he returned from dropping his sleep reducing pals in another cove they would already have swam back.  Finally, Pep devised his final solution.  Relocation of the offending frogs (they were loud at night, but I considered them white noise and drifted off happily, where Pepere considered them the ultimate foe) to other lakes in the area.  They wouldn’t come back then, now would they?

Honestly, I think they did come back.  It got louder and louder at the camp one summer.  I think it was their rebellion against relocation!

Several years were spent moving frogs out of the cove.  Pepere was always happy to see me when I’d put a frog in a bucket.  But I was just chilling with my new buddy.  The idea of sending it off to another lake made me sad.  But truth be told, Pepere lost many nights of sleep to theses loud little guys.  Still, I think they’re cute.

The creepy and the crawly

There’s more on the lake here (it’s actually called Manchaug Pond, but for my friends in the West, this is a lake…..stop naming puddles “lakes”).  Mosquitoes are here in force.  They’ve been taking a pint per night, and not a pint of Bass Ale.  My blood.  I’m nearly drained.

Bees, wasps, ground hornets, deer flies, horse flies, wood bees, hornets, ticks, black flies…….mmmrrrrrrmmmm….  All here.  I have so many bites I’m beginning to feel like I have a skin disorder.  Oh, how I remember New England….  😛

Not all snakes are poisonous.  That's what they tell me at least.

Not all snakes are poisonous. That’s what they tell me at least.

This morning while sitting out having a decaf with vanilla soy milk (see I’m still fancy) I looked down while I was on the phone and saw a snake face staring up at me.  I abruptly cut the conversation short by yelling, “SNAKE” into the phone.  Hey, I’ve been in Arizona for years now.  Seeing a snake face peering up at you while sitting next to your foot is the same as seeing the grim reaper in full uniform walking up with a chess set for a game.  Yeah, no kidding.

The fact I didn’t ruin my shorts should be noted.  Once I calmed down I realized, “Hey, that’s not like a green Mohave or something.  That’s one of those harmless snakes!”

I ran in, got the camera, and proceeded to show the snake who was boss.  Of course, I kept it at 200mm and really didn’t want to get near the thing!

They’re pretty, but still cold blooded

For everyone out there like me, yes, I’m talking about ex-wives.  They really were pretty, but hells bells, weren’t they so cold blooded?

I jest, I jest.  Mostly.

For my final friendly critter tonight I have to talk about the sun turtle.  These little guys rock.  They’re super pretty.  They’re non-offensive.  No poison.  No flicking tongues at bugs.  They just chill all day on logs using SPF 50 from Copper Tone.  Occasionally you’ll see them snap at a bug that tried biting their head.  I snap at bugs too, so a lot in common, yeah?

This turtle jumped off his log when we first showed up, but then realized we were cool and moved back to its spot.

This turtle jumped off his log when we first showed up, but then realized we were cool and moved back to its spot.

turtle (1 of 1)

Ah, the sun turtle! Shot by J.A. LeDoyt (I was busy paddling the canoe)

One of my favorite critters of all time has to be the sun turtle.  These animals are super mellow.  Give them a sunbeam and you’ll see them sit all day.  A log, a rock, a log that’s on a rock…….they just want that warmth to digest their chow.  I’ve seen them munch bugs, night crawlers (not the X-Men guy), lake bottom crap……basically whatever comes their way.  They’re fairly harmless, and the last one that bit me when I was 8 years old did no damage.  Sweet.

Of course, there are other turtles too.  But we won’t talk about them.  Not after that incident in 1985…..

So, a snapper walks into a bar…..

Well, that’s just not funny at all.  Once I saw a female snapper split an oar in half.  My neighbor was trying to convince it that laying eggs in his driveway was a bad idea.  He pushed it with an oar……….  And then he had to buy a new oar as that one got split in half.

In the end, they’ll bite yer face off!


Nobody asked you to come into the delivery room....just saying.  Shot by Jodi LeDoyt

Nobody asked you to come into the delivery room….just saying. Shot by Jodi LeDoyt


Snapping turtle eggs?  Hard boiled or poached?  Shot by Jodi LeDoyt.

Snapping turtle eggs? Hard boiled or poached? Shot by Jodi LeDoyt.

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