Paddleboarding and Reptiles

Sara and I went on a guided, stand up paddleboarding tour today with Chesapean Outdoors. This was our first try at paddleboarding, and I must say, it was some good fun. We really enjoyed ourselves. I could definitely see myself fly fishing off one of those as long as the water was pretty still. We paddled through First Landing State Park in Virginia Beach. That place is a gem. We had jelly fish and rays in the water around us and ospreys above. The Bald Cyprus trees fill the swamps and Spanish Moss hangs from Live Oaks. This is the farthest north that Spanish Moss grows on the East Coast. 

Additionally, we spotted a few fun creatures in the park. There was a good sized Broadhead skink (Eumeces laticeps). I’d say about 9 inches. This is Virginia’s largest species of skink and is quite arboreal.
A little later on we saw a couple of Eastern Fence Lizards (Sceloporus undulatus). This was pretty neat as, according to my copy of “Amphibians and Reptiles of the Carolinas and Virginia,” They usually avoid dense woods.
Once again, I must thank Jay from The Naturalist’s Angle for providing me with a book that becomes more and more useful as time moves on. 

I’m Knowing You.

I’m Knowing You.

We’ve only known each other for a few months now.
I swam the warm season.
Watched the changes in your sloping shore
After the big storm.
I’ve sifted through the gifts washed up each morning
Like a browsing patron at an antique store.

I know we haven’t known each other long,
But I feel closer to you today.
I anticipate the tidal changes.
I watch the schooling bait fish.
I can see this is growing into a great friendship.


I went for a jog today. I ran along the waters edge in our backyard. I began thinking how I’ve come to know this water. Like a friendship, it has grown since we’ve been in Virginia.  I thought that I should write something about that, but I think I forgot sometime between the end of the run and dinner. It wasn’t until I came across Jay Zimmerman’s  blog, Colorado Fly Fishing Report, that I remembered. You see, Jay Z…. ha… (I wrote that to differentiate from the other Jay I know, The Naturalist’s Angle. I’ll leave it) As I was saying, he wrote a post today proposing that we all “GET TO KNOW YOUR HOME WATER BETTER!” I agree and it prompted me to get my thoughts written down. So, thanks Jay Z. I appreciate it. I was going to post a video of a Jay Z and Radiohead mashup called Jaydiohead, but I will let you find those as they all seem to have explicit lyrics.  Try “No Karma,” “Song and Cry,” or “99 Anthems.”


Charlie Sheen couldn’t have said it any better. The spoils from my correct guess of Heterodon platirhinos on The Naturalist’s Angle have arrived! Jay, with your help I will hopefully become the local authority (at least among the intern residents) on the amphibians and reptiles of my new corner of the country. I’ll have to take this baby on down to the Great Dissmal Swamp and see what I can see. Thanks again Jay!