Wednesday, November 4, 2015

How did it get to be November already?! Nov. 1st, 2015

Saturday was cool but sunny. We had unprecedented Halloween goodies in the form of multiple snake species. This Sunday was supposed to be warmer but cloudy. As always, its a crap shoot. We hitched up with the son we never wanted, Matt S, and hit a Norfolk County stomping ground that might satisfy our salamander itch, if not snakes.

Our last time here, it was cool... less than 60°... but snakes were seeking out the sun. This Sunday, it was over 60 but the sun would not come out. It felt cooler than the day before so we quickly wrote off finding any snakes (though we never stopped looking) and concentrated on salamanders. Matt said his goal was to find a "big fat adult Spotted".

Our first herp came in the form of a small Redback who raced away, going straight over a beetle.

Down by a stream, a lot of rocks were exposed so I thought a Two-lined Salamander was a good shot. It was... under the very first rock I turned.
I picked him up to hand him up to the other two who and noticed his Fu Manchus (and a dirty chin).

Matt asked if I got a shot of the other one. What other one? It seems another Two-lined had come up and was laying on the rock I had just put back into place.
He must have been lurking in the leaves nearby and my footsteps had awoken him.

It was pretty chilly for sure. We didn't see a ton of animals. Redbacks, as they often do at this time of year, saved the day.

Water Snake Waterfall was pretty dry and, obviously, snake-free. Matt flipped a large rock and we saw some swimming in the puddled water underneath. I thought at first it was minnows but it was Two-lined larvae.
We'd never seen them in this particular spot before. Interesting.

We went some time without finding anything after that. A speedy Redback or two but nothing we got our cameras on. We were searching like mad for Spotted and Four-toed Sals. After a while, Matt called "I got one!" He came walking over with a hand full of something. When I got closer, I saw he had completed his quest...
That's a helluva handful of Spottie!
What an amazing specimen!

Best of all, while we were photographing him and flipping for other possible subjects, a couple came hiking by and asked what we were doing. We told them and showed them this big boy and he proved to be a great ambassador for salamanders everywhere. They were charmed.

Matt quickly struck again right after that with this smaller but more vivid Spotted Salamander.

Having made our trip worthwhile (and having received a phone call that gave us a time limit... we had some family business to tend to) we eventually headed back to the car. Along the way, Matt flipped this massive Redback.

November is upon us and soon it will snow and I'll be miserable and waiting for the Spring. But I'm not going to dwell upon that right now. There's still plenty of herping to do until then.


  1. where did you get that HUGE colossal DIME?

    1. Pickpocketed it from a Salamander!

  2. Querido Mike, la "salamandra me produce ternura,Es un animalito extraño, con sus manitos pequeñas y hermosas,!cuántas criaturas existen,y los humanos las matemos o torturamos,!!! En fin "salvo una cantidad de personas,que son bondadosas y comprensivas,,, fijate que los demás ni piensan que los animales sienten dolor amor miedo,,,,Bueno ,,,Les mando un beso . Tu amiga Martha, ,

    1. Las salamandras son hermosos animalitos!

      Todos podemos aprender mucho de los animales!

      Love, Mike