Sunday, January 5, 2014

First herps of 2014! 1-5-2014

After our successful trip to Western MA last weekend, we got a bit cocky and went out on New Year's Eve Eve... December 30th. The temps were supposedly in the low 40s so we wanted to see if any Redbacks had come above ground and made themselves flippable. Well, we went over to Brook and it felt a helluva lot colder than the 40s. The big vernal looked something like this:

We knew pretty soon that we wouldn't see anything, but we enjoyed a brisk walk. We saw quite a few duck couples frolicking.

We find snakes in these rocks in the summer. Errrm... not this time...

I guess you have to try to appreciate beauty where you see it, even if it is not a herp.

So since then, we have had a storm that dumped a foot of snow on Boston and many days of between 0° and 10° temperatures. When I heard that the last day of our vacation (Sunday, Jan. 5th) was going to smash the 32° mark, I said "let's go to Allendale and try to find some New Year's 2-Lines!" And that's just what we did.

Rather than take the snowy trails, we cut through the Brat House area that is right next to our best Two-Line spot in the Woods.

This was my target...

I got right to work.

And had immediate success... an adult Two-Lined Salamander! Our first herp of 2014!

I tried to find more, but it wasn't as easy as that first guy!

I saw several more, both adults and larvae, but was unable to get them into the observation tank for pictures. Finally, after becoming totally soaked and numb, I landed a pudgy larvae for Andrea to shoot!
Nice gills, man! This was the only other specimen I could gather up for photos, so we went back to the car to thaw.

But these two Two-Lines are our earliest herps ever so I consider our brief trek a tremendous triumph!
Welcome to 2014!


  1. ¡Te veo que ya estás bien!!!!¡Me alegro!¡Que tengas un año magnífico junto a tu familia,te lo deseo de todo corazón !! Unbeso x2 Martha

    1. Le deseamos mucha felicidad y enviamos nuestro amor para el 2014!