Friday, May 24, 2013

Pennsylvania Herping Adventure Part 3 (Sunday, May 19th 2013)

We awoke early on Sunday. There was still much more to see and we'd have to get on the road to Massachusetts before it got too late. Kyle, as ever, took amazing care of us... he made pancakes for breakfast!! We all dug in with delight! Joining us this morning was Dave, a cyclist-turned-herper who brought a lot of excitement to the morning!

We packed in and headed to a spot in Tioga County. It was sprinkling and cool, but Kyle assured us that would work to our advantage here.  Dave struck first with a flipped Garter!
Flipping was new to Dave, who mostly finds his herps while on a ride. He adapted very quickly!

Andrea soon flipped a gorgeous Redbelly!

And then she got an eft!

Stephen got what I consider to be the flip-of-the-day...
Two Redbellies, a garter and a Ringneck! Not to mention a big beetle and a rad invertebrate!

Alex flipped two Pickerel Frogs, our first of the trip!
penn pickerels

Andrea was officially on fire. She next flipped her first ever Green Snake!

I had been following her just in case this happened! This made me very happy! So did her second Eft!!

Then, she went above and beyond and flipped a Green and Redbelly together!!
This Redbell had a very pale tummy...

I chipped in with a Northern Slimy Salamander
and a couple of Ringnecks!
(That's my index finger pointing at this brute...)

I had been hoping for a Green of my own when I hit a jackpot... a triple Green flip!
Two were in the blue and the smallest had a weird spot on his neck... the one not in the blue looks as though he'd had a similar spot before...
They were tough to photograph until they pretty much braided themselves.

I like that flip, but does three of a kind beat Stephen's full house? I'm just happy we all found so many snakes!

Here is another of Dave's feisty Garters!

Speaking of feisty, I don't recall who caught this guy, but he was so full of piss and vinegar... he just wouldn't let up! He might be my favorite snake of the trip... certainly worthy of his own photo-collage!
feisty garter penn

At another spot, Andrea and I got this Ringneck...
while Dave fkipped the biggest Ringneck I'd ever seen!
We measured this guy at over 18 inches!!

Time was running out, but we hit one last spot... I flipped a muddy Green Frog (our first here)!

Alex found our first Spotted Salamander of the weekend!

Andrea finished up with yet another feisty Garter! These Pennsylvania Garters sure like to display their feroscity!

So, we headed back to camp... Kyles house, and had to bid adeiu to our friends. But not before a picture of the folks I'd been lucky enough to herp with that day!
L-R Stephen, Alex, Kyle, Andrea and Dave.

Again, I can't begin to say thank you to Kyle for his extraordinary generosity and kindness. He wouldn't let us lift a finger, he entertained and fed us, he shared prized herping spots, he taught us a lot and he was just a joy to be around! I thank you, Kyle, and hope that we can repay you in kind some day.

A memorable weekend with memorable herps and, even more than that, memorable people!

Our 7 to 8 hour drive back started off OK... but my head ached so I grabbed some asprin at a rest stop and popped 4 of them. After about a half hour on the road, I was having trouble keeping alert. I looked at the bottle... I'd bought PM pills... to help me sleep!!! I felt like the spy in the movie where he realizes he has been drugged and tries to stay awake, despite the drug taking over...

I had to let Andrea drive for a couple of hours while my head swam and got all fuzzy. We stopped for some food after a while and I decided to do something very rare... drink a coffee.
Blech! I don't know how you people do it!!! But it worked and we got home safely... with some wonderful memories of the weekend.


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    1. Thank you for the comment, for the hospitality and for the friendship!