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 Post subject: Hot Stove Herping Part Three
PostPosted: February 10th, 2012, 9:24 am 
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Joined: June 7th, 2010, 6:45 am
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Location: One of the boys from Illinois
“Summer’s ready when you are”
- the Breeders

Ah, Summer. I can't wait for you to come back to me!

In late May I flew out to Denver to participate in the NAFHA Rocky Mountain Chapter’s herp survey of the Four Corners area (where Colorado, Utah, Arizona and New Mexico come together). Tim Warfel and Daniel Dye met me at the airport, and during the wee hours of the night we proceeded west across Colorado, eventually pulling off to grab some shut-eye.
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Despite freezing our asses off in the high country, Daniel was ready to go herping.
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So we did. First up were some beautiful Eastern Collared Lizards:
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Woodhouse Toads, en flagrante delicto:
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My first Coluber taeniatus taeniatus, but not my last:
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and my first Gambelia wislizenii, totally badass saurian:
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South of Moab, Utah. Cactus Ed country!
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Ute Peak, Sleeping Ute Mountain. The view I woke up to each morning.
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A beautiful Pituophis catenifer deserticola, found near our campsite.
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Road cruising at night, we found this Mesa Verde Night Snake, Hypsiglena ochrophaea loreala:
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Spea multiplicata:
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I learned how to noose lizards:
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A bunch of great folks in the NAFHA Rocky Mountain Chapter:
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Two AOR and one DOR Lampropeltis getula californiae were found:
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I walked up my second Desert Striped Whipsnake:
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One of several Arizona elegans philipi:
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A dozen Crotalus viridis viridis were found on the roads at night:
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We walked up this one:
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walked it up with this view:
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Awesome dugway:
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Aspidoscelis velox:
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A night of road cruising in Utah’s Canyon Rim Lands produced this Crotalus oreganus concolor :
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We hadda visit Mesa Verde – totally awesome.
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Travis, Tim and Alex:
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I'm a sucker for women wearing Smokey Bear hats:
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New Mexican Crotaphytus collaris collaris:
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Another viridis:
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Parting shot for this trip:
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In June, I finally had a chance to get out in the field with Eitan and Ron Grunwald, along with my buddy Ryan Thies and his dad Rich. We spent a day working some hillsides in Missouri. Right out of the car I spotted this Gray Treefrog:
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We saw a number of Terrapene carolina triunguis:
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Fritillaries in an open meadow:
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We found ourselves in the middle of a 17-year cicada emergence - I'm sure a few copperheads were snacking on these tasty joy-buzzers:
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Ryan rock-flipped this Coluber constrictor flaviventris:
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Another one, a juvenile:
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Female Plestiodon fasciatus with eggs:
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The first Lampropeltis triangulum syspila of the day:
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Basking Agkistrodon contortrix phaeogaster retreating into a crevice:
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Basking Thamnophis proximus proxiumus:
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More milksnakery:
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Another Racer:
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It was a great day in the field, and good to finally meet and herp with Eitan and Ron.
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In July I was back in Utah for a conference in Salt Lake City, and I spent a couple extra days out there:
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I got in some herp-hiking with Jeremy Westerman one day. My first Charina:
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Thamnophis elegans vagrans:
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My first moose!
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Charina country:
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This Rubber Boa was crossing the trail on the way back out of the mountains:
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In July, Marty Whalin and I did a six day canoe trip up in the Boundary Waters in Minnesota:
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Marty’s made a dozen and more trips through the BW, which was good, since this tenderfoot had never been. I had a blast, and we saw some herps as well! Wood Frog: Image

Painted Turtles:
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Every day was a thing of beauty.
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American Toad out foraging along the shore at night:
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Mink Frog:
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Pitcher Plants:
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It was an awesome trip, and an awesome summer.
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thanks for looking!
-Mike


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 Post subject: Re: Hot Stove Herping Part Three
PostPosted: February 10th, 2012, 9:35 am 
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Joined: October 29th, 2010, 6:06 am
Posts: 275
Location: Denver, CO
Mike,

This post rocks. It has the right mix of snakes (a lot of them) and other wildlife plus the views! Thanks! The Cal kings from the Four Corners are stunning--Love the contrast between the black and white.

Thanks for sharing!

Cameron


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 Post subject: Re: Hot Stove Herping Part Three
PostPosted: February 10th, 2012, 10:13 am 
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Joined: June 8th, 2010, 2:34 pm
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Location: PA
:D Awesome Mike


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 Post subject: Re: Hot Stove Herping Part Three
PostPosted: February 10th, 2012, 10:23 am 
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Joined: June 8th, 2010, 4:51 am
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Location: Chicago, Illinois
Mike, what an awesome summer! I love the Hot Stove Herping series and look forward to each episode. Those E. Collard's sure look better than those muddy things that come out of the ground in the spring in Kansas. The Night Snake's triangular head and cat like eye, sure says, don't pick me up... and lizard noosing....I will need some lessons. Being on "da sout side of Chicago, I would call that beautiful Cali king, the Chicago White Sox variety. Of course, you also nailed the viridis viridis in bucket loads, which has eluded me. I am also sorry that I didn't sign up to go on that Canoe trip with you and Marty. Nice!!!


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 Post subject: Re: Hot Stove Herping Part Three
PostPosted: February 10th, 2012, 11:24 am 
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Joined: June 7th, 2010, 7:11 am
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Location: Lake Worth, FL
...Living in Florida, I miss beastly-huge racers. Top-notch post - But I'd expect no less from you. :beer:


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 Post subject: Re: Hot Stove Herping Part Three
PostPosted: February 10th, 2012, 12:01 pm 
Thanks for reminding me how awesome it is out here.
Nice finds on the cali kings.
Them mooses (meeces?) get huge, bet that was a rush.


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 Post subject: Re: Hot Stove Herping Part Three
PostPosted: February 10th, 2012, 1:25 pm 

Joined: June 7th, 2010, 10:27 am
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Location: Colorado
It was a good summer wasn't it?


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 Post subject: Re: Hot Stove Herping Part Three
PostPosted: February 10th, 2012, 1:30 pm 
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Joined: June 12th, 2010, 12:58 pm
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Location: The Ruhr Area of Germany
Hello Mike

Thank you for this nice report of your "few" herpetological journeys in 2011.
From the shivering higher elevations to the plains.
So many beautiful landscapes and so many herps.
The Crotaphytus are realy pretty ...
Many nice snakes!
Thank you for lighting up my evening!

Bernd


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 Post subject: Re: Hot Stove Herping Part Three
PostPosted: February 10th, 2012, 2:38 pm 
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Joined: June 7th, 2010, 8:23 am
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Location: Unicoi, TN
Great Post.... Really great timing.....
Even with a warm winter down here, this is the time to go crazy. (The voices in my head told me to say that.)


:?: In MO, was that Gray treefrog right there on that leaf and that color?????


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 Post subject: Re: Hot Stove Herping Part Three
PostPosted: February 10th, 2012, 3:16 pm 
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Wonderful stuff, great mix! :shock: :thumb: 8-) :D


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 Post subject: Re: Hot Stove Herping Part Three
PostPosted: February 10th, 2012, 3:36 pm 

Joined: June 8th, 2010, 5:46 am
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Wow how close were you to that moose,what's the story there?
Greats shots,like the unsung rattler species and beefy garter.Yeh winter's finally here in ernest :?


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 Post subject: Re: Hot Stove Herping Part Three
PostPosted: February 10th, 2012, 4:32 pm 
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TimCO wrote:
It was a good summer wasn't it?


It was epic!


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 Post subject: Re: Hot Stove Herping Part Three
PostPosted: February 10th, 2012, 4:34 pm 
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Thanks Bernd! The western Crotaphytus collaris are much prettier than the ones in the midwest US.
-Mike

pinesnake wrote:
Hello Mike

Thank you for this nice report of your "few" herpetological journeys in 2011.
From the shivering higher elevations to the plains.
So many beautiful landscapes and so many herps.
The Crotaphytus are realy pretty ...
Many nice snakes!
Thank you for lighting up my evening!

Bernd


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 Post subject: Re: Hot Stove Herping Part Three
PostPosted: February 10th, 2012, 4:37 pm 
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BillMcGighan wrote:

:?: In MO, was that Gray treefrog right there on that leaf and that color?????


that leaf, and that color, yes.

Here's what it looked like when we got back to the car, hours later:

Image

:crazyeyes:


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 Post subject: Re: Hot Stove Herping Part Three
PostPosted: February 10th, 2012, 4:43 pm 
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ugh wrote:
Wow how close were you to that moose,what's the story there?


uh, We were 80 feet away maybe? I was prepared to run, I tells ya.

here's 90 seconds of the munching male moose.

-Mike


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 Post subject: Re: Hot Stove Herping Part Three
PostPosted: February 10th, 2012, 5:50 pm 
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Mike, you had a heck of a year. I am not sure I can pick a favorite, but the southwest shots have me itchin' to take an actual herping trip out west, instead of a vacation with incidental herping.

In case you are interested, your chipmunk is a Least Chimpunk, a mostly western species that follows the boreal forest east to Quebec, and your ducks are Common Mergansers.

Andy


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 Post subject: Re: Hot Stove Herping Part Three
PostPosted: February 10th, 2012, 5:51 pm 
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Well, that was just excellent.

JimM


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 Post subject: Re: Hot Stove Herping Part Three
PostPosted: February 10th, 2012, 6:04 pm 
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Location: New River (Brooker), Florida
Four Corners revisited! That was one of the best times I've had in the field in my 49 years of seeking out critters...thanks!

Awesome post, Mike.

Distinti saluti,

DDD


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 Post subject: Re: Hot Stove Herping Part Three
PostPosted: February 10th, 2012, 6:04 pm 
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Joined: June 7th, 2010, 4:26 am
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Pretty good stuff here Mike, thanks for taking the chill off this winter. I need an excuse to see Mink Frogs and those canoes look pretty fun. The Western stuff makes my heart skip a beat, all of it.


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 Post subject: Re: Hot Stove Herping Part Three
PostPosted: February 10th, 2012, 6:42 pm 
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Nice post. So how far did you have to walk with the canoe on your back? That looks like work.


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 Post subject: Re: Hot Stove Herping Part Three
PostPosted: February 10th, 2012, 6:56 pm 

Joined: June 8th, 2010, 5:46 am
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Mike Pingleton wrote:

Image


Awesome shot


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 Post subject: Re: Hot Stove Herping Part Three
PostPosted: February 10th, 2012, 10:03 pm 
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Nice posts Mike. Looks like fun! I still need to get up in those areas for viridis & concolor


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 Post subject: Re: Hot Stove Herping Part Three
PostPosted: February 11th, 2012, 6:13 am 
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Andy Avram wrote:
In case you are interested, your chipmunk is a Least Chimpunk, a mostly western species that follows the boreal forest east to Quebec, and your ducks are Common Mergansers.

Andy


thanks, Andy. We had chipmunks at nearly every campsite. The mergansers were cool, but the loons were just magnificent to see and hear. One of the highlights of the trip for me.
-Mike


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 Post subject: Re: Hot Stove Herping Part Three
PostPosted: February 11th, 2012, 6:55 am 
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JAMAUGHN wrote:
Well, that was just excellent.

JimM


Thanks Jim!

Daniel, grazie, mio amico! Cordiale saluti!

Justin, thanks! Gotta get your butt up to BW some year.

-Mike


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 Post subject: Re: Hot Stove Herping Part Three
PostPosted: February 11th, 2012, 7:03 am 
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Carl Brune wrote:
Nice post. So how far did you have to walk with the canoe on your back? That looks like work.


The longest portage was 1.3 miles; most were much shorter. It was a challenge (especially with a knee brace) but it was still fun. Or maybe it was fun because it was a challenge. The canoes are Kevlar and weigh 35-40 lbs.

I took some video on one portage, just to capture the experieice. Here's me walking through the forest with a boat on my head.

-Mike


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 Post subject: Re: Hot Stove Herping Part Three
PostPosted: February 11th, 2012, 8:07 am 

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Such an excellent post. Too many wonderful images for me to pick a favorite.


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 Post subject: Re: Hot Stove Herping Part Three
PostPosted: February 11th, 2012, 8:26 am 
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That does look like hard work, and fun. Thanks for the video, Mike. I would definitely like to check out the Boundary Waters someday. Bet the fishing is very good as well.


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 Post subject: Re: Hot Stove Herping Part Three
PostPosted: February 11th, 2012, 10:20 am 
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Location: Huntington Beach, CA
Cool Luna Moth. Do you see many of those?


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 Post subject: Re: Hot Stove Herping Part Three
PostPosted: February 11th, 2012, 11:13 am 
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Joined: June 7th, 2010, 3:44 pm
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Location: Camden County, Missouri
As always great series!

Big congrats on the moose! So much more impressive before they shed! :lol:

Interesting about the tree frog changing like that. I have seen them in our flowers by the house and several years ago used to think we had many. Finally figured out just a few that change!

Gary


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 Post subject: Re: Hot Stove Herping Part Three
PostPosted: February 11th, 2012, 3:21 pm 

Joined: June 11th, 2010, 8:09 pm
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Location: Edmonton, Alberta
Man, you get everywhere don't you? Excellent post. Tonnes of moose up here if they excite you that much :) We can go chase them and some bison while looking for boreal toads!

Ian


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 Post subject: Re: Hot Stove Herping Part Three
PostPosted: February 12th, 2012, 3:51 pm 
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Location: Hint: It used to be the heart of town.
Nice job, Mike! And Portage Cam was awesome. I love the accompanying grunts and groans. It really captures the overall of the place. The disappointment when you turn a corner and instead of seeing the lake you see more boulder strewn trail to traverse. And of course that first glimpse of water between the trees that lets you know you're almost there. Your underwater video below the dam was super cool, also.


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 Post subject: Re: Hot Stove Herping Part Three
PostPosted: February 13th, 2012, 12:39 pm 
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Very nice :thumb:


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 Post subject: Re: Hot Stove Herping Part Three
PostPosted: February 13th, 2012, 4:46 pm 
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Joined: July 3rd, 2010, 8:05 am
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Location: Phoenix, AZ
Mike, you've had an incredible past couple of years! Thanks for sharing them. I know you had a good time in the north country, that place is amazing. Curtis got me my first mink frog up there late one night while the MVH sawed logs. It was an experience I'll never forget, paddling on a glass smooth wilderness lake, under a full moon, listening for the calls of mink frogs.

Michael Cravens


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 Post subject: Re: Hot Stove Herping Part Three
PostPosted: February 14th, 2012, 5:54 pm 
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Marty Whalin wrote:
Nice job, Mike! And Portage Cam was awesome. I love the accompanying grunts and groans. It really captures the overall of the place. The disappointment when you turn a corner and instead of seeing the lake you see more boulder strewn trail to traverse. And of course that first glimpse of water between the trees that lets you know you're almost there. Your underwater video below the dam was super cool, also.


thanks, Marty. The older I get, the louder I groan :D

Let's do it again sometime!
-Mike


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 Post subject: Re: Hot Stove Herping Part Three
PostPosted: February 14th, 2012, 5:56 pm 
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thanks, Gary! The color changing is one of the cool things about GTFs.
-Mike

Gary2sons wrote:
As always great series!

Big congrats on the moose! So much more impressive before they shed! :lol:

Interesting about the tree frog changing like that. I have seen them in our flowers by the house and several years ago used to think we had many. Finally figured out just a few that change!

Gary


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 Post subject: Re: Hot Stove Herping Part Three
PostPosted: February 14th, 2012, 5:59 pm 
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LouB747 wrote:
Cool Luna Moth. Do you see many of those?


I saw four last year, including this one up in Boundary Waters:

Image

Image

Pretty cool to run across them at night!
-Mike


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 Post subject: Re: Hot Stove Herping Part Three
PostPosted: February 14th, 2012, 6:00 pm 
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You never forget your first moose :thumb:

joeysgreen wrote:
Man, you get everywhere don't you? Excellent post. Tonnes of moose up here if they excite you that much :) We can go chase them and some bison while looking for boreal toads!

Ian


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 Post subject: Re: Hot Stove Herping Part Three
PostPosted: February 14th, 2012, 6:01 pm 
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thanks Mike. Marty and I did the same late night paddle - awesome experience!

MichaelCravens wrote:
Mike, you've had an incredible past couple of years! Thanks for sharing them. I know you had a good time in the north country, that place is amazing. Curtis got me my first mink frog up there late one night while the MVH sawed logs. It was an experience I'll never forget, paddling on a glass smooth wilderness lake, under a full moon, listening for the calls of mink frogs.

Michael Cravens


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 Post subject: Re: Hot Stove Herping Part Three
PostPosted: February 14th, 2012, 7:43 pm 
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Joined: June 7th, 2010, 7:08 pm
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Location: Montana
Lucky!

Loved the Rubber boa, well okay, the whole post was very sweet. You were in the Boundary Waters, and not one fish photo? WTF? What's wrong with you Mike, fish have scales too.
All kidding aside, I've always wanted to do the BW. One day, one day....

Another great installment of Hot Stove, thanks buddy.

-Dell


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 Post subject: Re: Hot Stove Herping Part Three
PostPosted: February 14th, 2012, 9:31 pm 
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Location: Kuching, Sarawak (Borneo)
Awesomissimo! I love this series!! Thank you for putting it together, Mike!

This is my favorite....
Image


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 Post subject: Re: Hot Stove Herping Part Three
PostPosted: February 15th, 2012, 3:22 pm 

Joined: June 2nd, 2011, 3:17 am
Posts: 362
Mike, as always you produce some incredibly evocative images!
I have only seen two luna moths in my entire life so those are what stuck in my mind the most from your trips.


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 Post subject: Re: Hot Stove Herping Part Three
PostPosted: February 15th, 2012, 5:59 pm 
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Location: FL Keys
Mike, you put these together so well and always have top shelf critters/photography on your side to work with, to boot! That's an absolutely unbeatable combination for a superb post...and series. Thanks man!

Huge kudus to you and yet another fine year!
:thumb: :beer:

Oops, almost forgot. I'm a big fan of the Lunas as well.

Tim


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 Post subject: Re: Hot Stove Herping Part Three
PostPosted: February 19th, 2012, 5:57 pm 

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Very awesome, Mike. Thanks for sharing those trips with us


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 Post subject: Re: Hot Stove Herping Part Three
PostPosted: February 20th, 2012, 6:00 pm 
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thanks for the comments, everyone. I like to share the joy, so to speak. One more installment and then it's time to get back in the field again.

-Mike


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