Herping the Altamaha River Basin with the Orianne Society

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noah k.
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Herping the Altamaha River Basin with the Orianne Society

Post by noah k. » September 24th, 2012, 5:35 pm

Over the weekend I took a very special trip down to the Altamaha River Basin for the Places You've Never Herped Before event. I had a great tim and met some good people. I cannot take credit for most of these finds, and I personally only found one snake but boy was it a special one. I spent some time herping at my house and found some salamanders and a dead green snake(first seen on my property).

Spotted Salamander

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Marbled Salamander

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We began to prepare for the trip and got some sleep. We departed at 3:00 am and I awoke to a misty road surrounded by xeric sandridges, pine flatwoods, and cypress swamps. The sun was rising, and an abrupt end came to this peace as we pulled into walmart to get some supplies. We spotted some red-shouldered hawks watching over a field by walmart and we were off to our destination. We pulled in, met up with Daniel and headed over to the gathering area. We signed in and did technical stuff and up walks a familiar face I had heard of but never met, Dirk Stevenson, with a neonate diamondback he found on the way here!

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We received our mission from the CEO Christopher Jenkins and were off! We chose him as our morning guide to introduce us to the habitat. We arrive here.

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We found many tortoise holes and what looked like pinesnake burrows but I went full retard and did not photograph them. We took off down the trail and began seeing signs of herp life. A metric ton of fence lizards were seen right off the bat. Now when I say this place was covered in mosquitoes, I mean it literally. I would turn and look at a fellow herper and see a cloud of them around them. Somehow in the mosquitoes, Daniel grabbed this as it disappeared into a palmetto patch.

Eastern Coachwhip-*lifer*

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The rest of the day was uneventful until we headed back to the camp to share our finds. Lots of turtles were caught in traps.

Here's a baby loggerhead? Im not sure on these musks.

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A larger one.

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One of my favorite turtles, the spiny softshell.

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And a new one, the Florida Softshell

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Someone turned up another new species to me, the Brown Watersnake

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Of course since I was there someone miles away found this. ;)
My heterodon record is now 1 platyrhinos and 3 simus.

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Then in comes Warren Bond with the biggest copperhead I have ever seen and I diamondback he found less than 500 feet from my very location.  :rolleyes:

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At this point I am speechless and ready for a good roadcruising trip! We head out and not long after my epic find. Most everyone had headed home so heres what you guys missed! When trying to stop it from escaping my dad flung it and it landed on my foot. We had a little staredown and he just calmly moved off. WOW! That got the adrenaline pumping.

Pigmy Rattlesnake!!! *LIFER*!!!

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Cruising was uneventful until I missed clearing out venomous snakes of Georgia by five minutes or so.

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ARRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRGGGGGGGGGGGGGGHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


Well frustrated we returned to the hotel and got a good nights rest before our long drive and last minute herping in the morning. We woke up, photographed and released the pigmy, and did some last minute herping. One of Daniels goals was a gopher tortoise. We missed about ten and sure enough five to ten minutes after he leaves.

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It was an amazing trip! Thanks to all who contributed and found these awesome animals! Ill be returning soon to get my indigo!

Donate to the Orianne Society here!

http://www.oriannesociety.org/

Thanks for looking,
Noah

Barry R
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Re: Herping the Altamaha River Basin with the Orianne Societ

Post by Barry R » September 25th, 2012, 8:59 am

good pics!

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-EJ
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Re: Herping the Altamaha River Basin with the Orianne Societ

Post by -EJ » September 25th, 2012, 9:29 am

Nice post.

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DaneConley
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Re: Herping the Altamaha River Basin with the Orianne Societ

Post by DaneConley » September 25th, 2012, 2:21 pm

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noah k.
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Re: Herping the Altamaha River Basin with the Orianne Societ

Post by noah k. » September 25th, 2012, 3:06 pm

Unfortunately not. It isn't a good time to get an easy indigo. It's about pure luck. You have to catch them moving since they are still foraging for food. When winter hits I'm headed back to try to get an indigo and diamondback of my own.

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DaneConley
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Re: Herping the Altamaha River Basin with the Orianne Societ

Post by DaneConley » September 25th, 2012, 3:37 pm

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noah k.
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Re: Herping the Altamaha River Basin with the Orianne Societ

Post by noah k. » September 25th, 2012, 4:18 pm

Well the place is a plethora of WMAs. They are usually private owned by the DNR but acres of unexplored land were recently opened to the public. You do not have to be a member to go on a trip but I suggest you become one.

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