Saturday, June 30, 2012

Passaic River Trout and Snakes Scherman Hoffman Sanctuary

Today's outing--snakes at Sherman Hoffman Sanctuary, precisely our intent.

Matt's hope--milk snakes. But I took a patient course, knowing very well how difficult it is to fulfill such expectations. Milk snakes are one of the seven species of 17 New Jersey snake species total that Matt hasn't found to this date. 

Matt discovered two garter snakes today.

What amazed me is that the small garter snake I photographed him holding--perhaps 16 inches long--regurgetated a freshly consumed red salamander, fat bodied and over five inches long. For a moment it seemed as if the salamander remained alive, but my mind snapped immediately back into place the moment I found this surely couldn't be, fresh as killed the moment we arrived on the scene.

I'm reminded of poet Allen Ginsberg, and how he might lavish the find.

Red salamander! You are the world!

And on and on with his ravings to suggest taking the whole world into consciousness. And why not? This salamander very well preserved in my photographs, I know I could pass these photographs off on a lot of people as pictures of a live salamander.

These are Passaic River headwaters running through the sanctuary. Full of wild rainbow and brown trout, the Passaic flows pure. Down below, the river flowing through Newark's Ironbound District is about to be dredged. During the 1970''s the pollution was some of the worst in the world.

Oh, and the Passaic flows through Allen Ginsberg's hometown, Paterson.

Contrary to conventional assumption until fairly recent years, perhaps, the Passaic's pollution didn't intensify beyond hope during the 1970's. A friend of mine caught carp regularly in Passaic River, Paterson, during that decade.

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