Part Three of my year (2013) Fall finds!!

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kayfabe
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Part Three of my year (2013) Fall finds!!

Post by kayfabe » January 30th, 2014, 8:43 pm

Part 1 and Part 2 of my year herping can be found at the following links
PART 1http://www.fieldherpforum.com/forum/vie ... =2&t=15559

PART 2http://www.fieldherpforum.com/forum/vie ... =2&t=17313

I left off my last post just as fall was starting. My first field opportunity in the fall came with the NAFHA meeting in North Carolina. A long drive for sure but some amazing animals.

Green Anole
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Southern Toad
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Southern Leopard Frog
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Red-Bellied Watersnake
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A shot of some habitat
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We stumbled upon a small bog that was covered in Venus Flytraps!!
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I took a chance to photograph some of the finds back at the campground the next morning

Musk Turtle
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Spotted Turtle
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One of my targets to photograph was a Corn Snake and loved the chance to do so!
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"Greenish" Rat Snake
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Banded Watersnake
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Northern Brown Snake
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Eastern Cottonmouth
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Eastern Kingsnake
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Eastern Glass Lizard
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Pine Woods Treefrog
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On our way to another spot to look for Pygmy Rattlesnakes we ended up taking the ferry across the bay thanks to our GPS.

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A seagull that hitched a ride on the ferry

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After getting lost and a desperate search for gas that ended in a weird little town we arrived at our destination in high hopes of seeing a Carolina Pygmy Rattlesnake. Our first find was another Pine Woods Treefrog
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We then saw a big Red-Bellied Watersnake!
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Zack West thought it was a lovely Nerodia
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Then finally, after losing one in the brush tangles, we had found what we all had come looking for!

Carolina Pygmy Rattlesnake
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A few minutes later we found a second one that was unbelievably red!
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The next morning we broke camp early to head to the Great Smokey Mountains to search for salamanders
We arrived at Clingman's Dome and were greeted by an amazing view
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We broke into teams and started searching the damp wooded trails where we turned up four different species of salamanders

The first one we found was not identifiable by anyone in our group or by looking at our field guides, I believe it is a patternless Ocoee salamander
Desmognathus sp
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Blue Ridge Two Lined salamander
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Pygmy salamander
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And yet another unidentified salamander, which I believe is an Immitator salamander
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A few day later I went to a local spot where a creekbed had dried up leaving lots of mud and exposed rocks. A few flips later I had a juvenile Smallmouth salamander
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Also lots of Northern Cricket frogs were spotted along the mud banks
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A few days later I met up with a small group from Indiana on their first trip to Snake Road. The weather wasn't the greatest but that never stops the action there

Bird-Voiced Treefrog
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Central Newt eft
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Green Treefrog
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Southern Black Racer
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Here I am holding the racer for a group of kids that came by
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Neonate Black Ratsnake
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Neonate Rough Green snake
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A few great rainy nights followed which allowed for some quality road cruising along the country roads. The next few shots are from individuals in-situ or collected for photographs and released the next day.

Eastern Tiger Salamander
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Northern x Southern Copperhead
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Wood Frog
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Eastern Spadefoot Toad
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A group of acquaintances from Chicago made there way down and asked me to join them on a hike through the Cypress Bottoms of Johnson Co. We had a stellar day for 'phibs due to the recent rains, but severely lacked in the snake department. I was introduced to the world of edible plants this day to and second guessed every bite that was offered to me. It was a great learning experience that I was happy to be there for. Here are a few highlights...

Bird-Voiced Treefrog (on a Comb's Tooth mushroom)
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How about one of each found less than three feet from each other Marbled, Smallmouth, Central Newt, and Mole salamanders from left to right
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Mole Salamanders were an easy find this day!
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Had to take one of these shots of a Bird-Voiced Treefrog
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Frogs on shrooms was a reoccurring theme of the day! Brid-Voiced Treefrog (on a Yellow Chantrelle)
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Spotted Salamander
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There had to be one of these in a S. Illinois post, so I'll just get it out of the way Western Cottonmouth
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I had agreed to meet up with an outdoors writer/photographer fro Heartland Outdoors Magazine to spend the day in the field at Snake Road to show her a typical day herping and some tricks for photographing herps in the wild. I didn't take too many shots myself this day, but one subject took up almost all of my memory card!

Green Treefrog
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Bird-Voiced Treefrog
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Timber Rattlesnake!!!!
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I could post a hundred more pics of that timber, but I'll spare everyone. After finding the timber I was on cloud nine so I hit up a local spot where I had found some Prairie Kingsnakes previously. It was only a matter of minutes before I had another!

Prairie Kingsnake
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Western Chorus Frogs were a common sight along the trail that day too
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The last days of fall were coming rapidly and a few more days of rains were in the forecast, along with one more day in the mid-60's. I had one more target that had still eluded me in my two years down here. I set my sights and cleared my schedule for one last weekend hurrah! Here are the highlights from that :shock: AWESOME :shock: weekend!!!!! First up was the epic night of road cruising in the pouring cool rains..

Grey Treefrog
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American Toad
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Painted Devil Crayfish
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Eastern Tiger Salamanders were very plentiful that night! This is one of the 6 we found in 45 minutes!
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Spring Peeper
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Eastern Spadefoot Toad
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One last day was left in the season and I had a plan! A plan to kill myself flipping logs in a Cypress Bottom for as long as it took to find treasure! Well, 6 hours in and treasure was nowhere to be seen. :roll: But along the way I had flipped over 200 Mole Salamanders!

Mole Salamander
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Marbled Salamander
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Smallmouth Salamander
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Black x Grey Rat Snake
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Eastern Ribbonsnake
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Red-Bellied Snake
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Although it was a great day in the field, for the second full year I had missed my one target...OR HAD I :shock:
As I made my way back along the trail to my truck I noticed some movement along the edge in the leaf litter. I stopped and watched for a second as a Five-Lined Skink bolted out and ran up a tree. I missed the chance for a photo as a jogger ran past me. I packed my camera up and walked no more than 10 feet when I looked in sheer disbelief as a shiny black sihouette slowly made it's way along the path :thumb: :thumb: :thumb: I literally stared for a few minutes and laughed out loud as it hit me that I had finally found my treasure! 8-)

In Situ Western Mud Snake
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Needless to say I proceeded to fill up my SD card with as many shots as I could of this beauty!

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That was the last herp I saw in 2013!! What a way to finish the year!!!! :beer:

I'll add in this sighting on January 12th of this year. The temps had broke 50 for the first time so I tried to get a January Cottonmouth at Snake Road. None were sighted but as we were leaving I noticed something moving on the ice. A Turtle!! :shock:

Red-Eared Slider
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A closer shot
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Thanks for looking and Happy Herping!!

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Mark Brown
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Re: Part Three of my year (2013) Fall finds!!

Post by Mark Brown » January 31st, 2014, 1:40 am

Wow! Love those salamanders!!! Great post!

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Knightkrawler5
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Re: Part Three of my year (2013) Fall finds!!

Post by Knightkrawler5 » January 31st, 2014, 1:41 am

Western Mud's are my favorite!...I was only able to make a quick stop in Western TN this year and found a 4 foot beauty! too bad it had been hit by a car 10 minutes earlier! :x

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kayfabe
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Re: Part Three of my year (2013) Fall finds!!

Post by kayfabe » January 31st, 2014, 8:46 pm

Mark Brown wrote:Wow! Love those salamanders!!! Great post!
Thanks! Salamanders were a plenty this year! The last day I was out it was just getting ridiculous. I would have killed to see a newt instead of another Mole salmander :lol:
Knightkrawler5 wrote:Western Mud's are my favorite!...I was only able to make a quick stop in Western TN this year and found a 4 foot beauty! too bad it had been hit by a car 10 minutes earlier! :x
Easily the single coolest snake I've found in the field, (although those Carolina Pygmys are a close contender) :P

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Josh Holbrook
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Re: Part Three of my year (2013) Fall finds!!

Post by Josh Holbrook » February 1st, 2014, 6:54 am

Great year all around - those western muds are something else. It was good seeing you in NC again.

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justinm
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Re: Part Three of my year (2013) Fall finds!!

Post by justinm » February 1st, 2014, 10:32 am

200 Mole Salamanders! That would be a helluva day for me. I loved the series, great way to finish the year. We need to get out soon, let me know when the weather breaks and I'll drop everything and head down.

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kayfabe
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Re: Part Three of my year (2013) Fall finds!!

Post by kayfabe » February 1st, 2014, 12:15 pm

Josh Holbrook wrote:Great year all around - those western muds are something else. It was good seeing you in NC again.
You too buddy! Less cops next time though ;)
justinm wrote:200 Mole Salamanders! That would be a helluva day for me. I loved the series, great way to finish the year. We need to get out soon, let me know when the weather breaks and I'll drop everything and head down.
It was stupid crazy that day!! Every log had at least one one under it, most had a pair or more :shock: I was so tired walking back to the truck, but when I saw that Mud snake it was such an adrenaline rush!! :thumb: I'm waiting for this weather to break myself man!! Got a big day lined up in March though, I'll PM ya! :beer:

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IllinoisGuy
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Re: Part Three of my year (2013) Fall finds!!

Post by IllinoisGuy » February 1st, 2014, 2:38 pm

Sweet stuff man. A mud snake at that location is always awesome.

pahothand
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Re: Part Three of my year (2013) Fall finds!!

Post by pahothand » February 2nd, 2014, 5:46 am

Beautiful coloring on the timber rattlesnake.

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Joshua Wallace
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Re: Part Three of my year (2013) Fall finds!!

Post by Joshua Wallace » February 2nd, 2014, 5:12 pm

Great thread. Love the mud snake.

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Nigel Smith
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Re: Part Three of my year (2013) Fall finds!!

Post by Nigel Smith » February 2nd, 2014, 9:22 pm

Thanks for taking us on the ride Jeremey. Congrats on your mud snake!
Knightkrawler5 wrote:Western Mud's are my favorite!...I was only able to make a quick stop in Western TN this year and found a 4 foot beauty! too bad it had been hit by a car 10 minutes earlier! :x
Sorry to hear that. I had a similar experience in MS this year.

herper1
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Re: Part Three of my year (2013) Fall finds!!

Post by herper1 » February 6th, 2014, 6:04 pm

Great pics and a great post. That trip to NC looks like fun and you managed to fit in a stop in the Smokies! You killed it this year, and congrats on the Mud !

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Josh Holbrook
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Re: Part Three of my year (2013) Fall finds!!

Post by Josh Holbrook » February 6th, 2014, 8:07 pm

kayfabe wrote: Less cops next time though ;)

Seriously...

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kayfabe
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Re: Part Three of my year (2013) Fall finds!!

Post by kayfabe » February 9th, 2014, 7:40 pm

Josh Holbrook wrote:
kayfabe wrote: Less cops next time though ;)

Seriously...
"Can I ask you a question about bullfrogs? Like the ones we got here are big...like really big. What makes 'em get so big?" :lol: :lol: :lol:

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kayfabe
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Re: Part Three of my year (2013) Fall finds!!

Post by kayfabe » February 9th, 2014, 7:41 pm

herper1 wrote:Great pics and a great post. That trip to NC looks like fun and you managed to fit in a stop in the Smokies! You killed it this year, and congrats on the Mud !
Thanks man! Hope ya can make it down for another trip in my neck of the woods! :beer:

Barry R
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Re: Part Three of my year (2013) Fall finds!!

Post by Barry R » February 21st, 2014, 11:14 am

Great pics Jeremy! Love the pygmy and mud.

mokasen
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Re: Part Three of my year (2013) Fall finds!!

Post by mokasen » February 24th, 2014, 2:28 pm

Awesome post Jeremy... Glad you finally got that mud after catching a glimpse of the one disappearing into the cottonmouth infested log in August 2013 and nearly launching your snake hook into the swamp! That timber is a beauty, I for one could never see enough timber pics. Thanks for your contributions, you take some amazing pictures.

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Mike Pingleton
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Re: Part Three of my year (2013) Fall finds!!

Post by Mike Pingleton » February 26th, 2014, 11:59 am

Nice pics, Jeremy! Love the Redbelly shot mostest.

-Mike

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kayfabe
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Re: Part Three of my year (2013) Fall finds!!

Post by kayfabe » March 9th, 2014, 5:46 pm

mokasen wrote:Awesome post Jeremy... Glad you finally got that mud after catching a glimpse of the one disappearing into the cottonmouth infested log in August 2013 and nearly launching your snake hook into the swamp! That timber is a beauty, I for one could never see enough timber pics. Thanks for your contributions, you take some amazing pictures.

:lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: Dear God I was so pissed!!!!! But yes, This more than made up for it!

pythonregius3
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Re: Part Three of my year (2013) Fall finds!!

Post by pythonregius3 » March 22nd, 2014, 8:03 pm

I am so jealous right now. I love mud snakes. Have been hoping to get one at snake road and haven't found one yet. Found one a long time ago in Everglades and it was one of the coolest snakes I have found. I live in Indiana and went to sc last yr and just got rained on the whole damn time and found very little. Wanted a pigmy real bad but no such luck. Also have always wanted to find a prairie king Your post makes me feel like a total Failure. Haha. Good post and nice finds

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