I've been meaning to get this post up since before the whole site got dorked over.
It has been inspiring to see the content produced by this community since.
Thus, a struggling midwester's rest of 09', that I never really got around to posting.
Although, I don't post often, I am always stopping by the site to see what the world of field herpers have turned up.
Ok, some of the subjects are from, as far north as middle Michigan; and like wise, as far south as the southern Kentucky border. I have tried to put this together chronologically. This post picks back up from Spring of 09 through to the end of the season, which for me was in October of 09'.
I was excited to find this Wood Frog long after their early breeding period.
Rana sylvatica | Wood Frog - Lifer, Southwestern Ohio
Desmognathus fuscus fuscus | Northern Dusky Salamander - the wood frog and this dusky were both found in the same creek side seep. Probably, the largest Desmog, I've encountered.
Bufo americanus | American Toad - In situ, Northern Kentucky
Now down to the Cumberland Plateau in Kentucky, Memorial Day weekend on the Big South Fork of the Cumberland River. A semi-annual multi-day canoe/camping trip.
The Big South Fork of the Cumberland
A walking stick.
Graptemys geographica | Map Turtle - Juvenile
Toads were calling every evening along the river. I am never really sure if these guys are americanus or fowleri, or possibly intergrades?
Sceloporus undulatus hyacinthinus | Northern Fench Lizard
At a pull off on the BSF I came across the remains of a large female Map Turtle. Later, at home I set this still life up which included a Chelydra skull.
Back in Southwestern Ohio again, out for a day of canoeing. Pulled over for a look around and came across these tracks, which led to the individual pictured below.
Chelydra serpentina | Snapping Turtle - young
I was also able to turn up a young Nerodia on that trip, as well.
Nerodia sipedon pleuralis | Midland Water Snake
On to Michigan.
Made a trip up to Michigan(early august) to meet up with some old college buddies, from all over the U.S., to do some fishing. One of the guy's family has a cottage on Lake Michigan, just north of Whitehall. Some really nice habitat up there, lots of sandy soil, lakes, ponds, rivers and streams.
A view from the cottage out onto Lake Michigan.
This is what a typical inland lake up there looks like. Most all of the decent sized inland lakes seemed to be entirely surrounded by cottages and they all had a rich bounty of aquatic plants.
I found two of these guys right around the outside of our cottage, which was a top the high banks of Lake Michigan.
Hyla versicolor or chrysoscelis | Gray Tree Frog
Another view of the same individual
The turtles below, were right in the marina located on a bay off of Lake Michigan, where a river flows to the lake. Nonetheless, the least skittish Maps i've ever come across. They did bail off the log after I took a couple of pictures, and were back on it 10 minutes later. This is before we boarded a chartered boat for a day of salmon fishing.
Graptemys geographica | Common Map Turtle
I learned from a salamander incident, earlier in 09, to take a picture before I try to apprehend a subject, just for voucher and ID. This is such a picture. The next picture confirms I was able to apprehend this old girl. Initially when I noticed this snake, there was another smaller individual basking with her, what I suspect was a male. He was half her size, and high-tailed it, about the time I recognized them.
Nerodia sipedon sipedon | Northern Water Snake, after she flushed a little
Head Shot, she was not docile.
Some of the unique dune habitat along the eastern shore of Lake Michigan.
Back to Southwestern Ohio and Northern Kentucky.
Thamnophis sirtalis sirtalis | Eastern Garter Snake
Rana clamitans melanota | Young Green Frog
Thamnophis sirtalis sirtalis | Eastern Garter Snake, with some damage to the anterior end, likely YOY.
Bufo americanus | American Toad, One of the most melanistic individuals, I've ever come across.
Lifer Report: This wasn't the first wild Milk snake i've had in hand, the second and third worked their way out of it. The first one I saw got away easily, jetting after I flipped the rock, I wasn't even sure if it was a milk, I remember thinking it had to be a juvenile Black Rat or a Midland Water Snake. I moved on invigorated by the thought of a young Black Rat, Midland/Nerodia, but said to myself "Damnit that might have been a milk". Then I flipped a rock that had two young milks underneath it, small, bright colors etc., grabbed both immediately and had nothing to contain them in, I yelled to my girlfriend to bring the camera, while i tried to keep track of them in my clumsy gloved hands. I was so dumbfounded and in awe that both of the strong little bastards snaked out of my hands. I was trying to be gentle, had gloves on, and in the instant that I called for the camera, they both returned to the labrinth of grass. They were gone, but I knew i had discovered a population of Milks!
My next visit to the "big rock" yeilded this individual pictured below and thus, the first Milk that didn't elude my camera.
Lampropeltis triangulum triangulum | Eastern Milk Snake - Southwestern Ohio
Rana catesbeiana | Bull Frog - I am not really sure why this picture is here
This is a younger milk from the new locale I had discovered earlier. Robust with a recent meal. It seemed like there was, shed snake skin hanging out of it's ass, when i looked it over after it musked me. I think this guy, may have taken to eating Garters.
After detaining the subject for pictures it started raining and a challenging photo session began. Ended up moving down the rock lined drainage to the edge of the forest, eventually, using my pillow case for a rain tarp to keep my camera out of the deluge.
Lampropeltis triangulum triangulum | Young Eastern Milk Snake
By this time it is well into September.
Plethodon glutinosis | Northern Slimy Salamander, Northern Kentucky
Located this box turtle on the same outing. Terrapene carolina | Eastern Box Turtle
Headed out on a warm, late, fall day, to see if anything was still out. Same locale as the Slimy and Box Turtle were found, Northern Kentucky. By this time it was late October. One of the first places I paused, was along a creek to look at the minnows in a decent sized pool, the creek low the pool shallow, and thought, seems like a good resource for a late season snake. I looked hard, standing still for some time and saw nothing but creek Ichthyology (minnows of some sort, possibly chubs amongst others) and rocks. Then this snake pulls out of the water right on the log in front of me.
Thamnophis sirtalis | Eastern Garter Snake, in situ
A posed shot of the same individual.
This ringneck looked a bit rough, aside from being in blue, generally looked epidermally aggravated
Diadophis punctatus edwardsii | Northern Ringneck
Finishing of this particular day out and the 09 season, the largest Toad observed all year. This thing was the size of a baseball.
Bufo americanus | American Toad
I have since found that cave salamanders, black rat snakes, wood frogs, peepers, green and bull frogs also reside in the same area along with the previously pictured slimy sal and box turtle. I suspect there are at least nerodia and possibly other salamanders present.
P.S. - (Regarding the site crash/erase) I remember I kept wondering what was wrong with the FieldHerpForum server. Seemed like a couple days before I could get a site to load.
I missed it.
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