Sunday, October 7, 2012

Ya takes yer chances when ya gets 'em! 10-5-2012

I had no idea that two weeks ago's Water Snake might actually be our last snake of the year. The cool weather seemed to come in over night and has mostly thwarted our hopes of October herping. Very sobering and I, for one,  have been having a fairly rough time getting used to it. We spent a lot of time and passion on our love of herping this year and it has been such a rewarding year, learning a lot and finding new places to visit.

So, after missing out on last weekend entirely (mid-50s, rainy raw weather), I had planned on visiting Allendale alone on Friday the 5th of October. It was to be in the mid-70s and though I hated to think about herping without Andrea, I just wanted to to try...

My friend Ryan (with whom we encountered the Copperhead earlier this year) felt the same way. Since we work together, we both decided to skip out at noon and, instead of going to Allendale, try our luck at Ponkapoag. I got Andrea's permission first.

I'm sad to say that we didn't find any snakes, but we did find these animals...

Redbacks! They were plentiful!

A Pickerel Frog next to a leaf-full of bugs!

A 7-count log of Painted Turtles- Reptiles be representin'!

A Green Frog, posing for one of my best-ever shots!

Here's a beautiful, golden colored Redback!

A really pale Spotted Salamander! In a shed or just... pale?

With both Ryan and I being big fans of snakes, this whirlwind trip around Ponk was bitter sweet. We did get to get out and herp instead of being stuck at work. BUT, no snakes. Oh well.

Walking along the last (usually herp-free for the most part) stretch, Ryan went over to a small rock to flip and said "10 Milksnakes will be under here"! No, but there was an oddball salamander under it.
I started to photograph it as a brownish Leadback, but it looked too different. Because of it's fatness, I turned her over to see if I could see eggs...
It was then that I noticed the yellow ventral area and realized we'd found the first 2-Lined Salamander of the year!

Subsequent flips revealed 4 more!
2-Lined Salamander
Classic 2-Lined!

So, we really got the 2-Lined in under the wire this year! In a big way, too! I hated being out without Andrea, but Ryan and I felt that we'd made it a successful trip, despite no snakes. It was his first ever 2-lined and my first of 2012 so, snakes or not, we'll call it a success!

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